Robert Tamayo


How Much Sleep Do I Need?

I slept 10 hours on Saturday, waking up past 10am on Sunday. I felt great afterward. Last night, though, I only managed to sleep less than 8 hours. I can definitely feel the difference.

Children sleep longer than adults, usually around 10 hours a day. This is said to be because their brains are still developing. Based on that logic, I guess 8 hours is recommended to adults in order to prevent our brains from developing further. It sounds silly, but I wonder how true it is.

Bodybuilders also recommend sleeping longer than usual. At the bare minimum, lifters require 8 hours of sleep. They would never recommend less, because the muscles require more sleeping time to recover. 10 hours would be ideal.

My hypothesis is that 9.5-10 hours of sleep might be ideal for most humans. I think both the brain and body would be able to adequately recover. For my part, I definitely want my brain and body to still be considered developing, and that requires getting more sleep.

The only part of concern would be if there are clear studies indicating that 10 hours of sleep a day are actually detrimental to your health. I doubt that, but I'm open to the possibility. Even though I'm open to the possibility of longer periods of sleep being somehow less healthy than 8 hours, I've long speculated that the elderly age faster partly due to their claim that they require fewer hours of sleep at their advanced age, averaging something like 6.5 hours a night.

A counter argument to sleeping longer would be the productivity-sleep tradeoff. Sleeping 10 hours would "take away" 2 hours from your day. My counter argument to that would be that if more sleep leads to a better life, then the 2 hours lost in duration would be made up for by a more effective and productive 14 hours. Furthermore, getting extra sleep might prolong your life by a few years, which would lead to more productivity, if that's what you're after.

I've written about sleep enough for today. It's time for me to put my theory to the test and go to bed. 

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