How Much Sleep Do You Need to Be Most Productive?
Sleep should come as no surprise; indeed, its benefits should be clear. Unfortunately, however, many don’t get enough shuteye every night.
Breus recommends setting an optimal sleeping schedule by counting back 7.5 hours from when you wake up; that should translate to five 90-minute cycles of restful slumber.
Most experts agree that 7 to 8 hours of restful, rejuvenating sleep each night should provide enough energy for optimal performance, yet individual needs vary considerably. The National Sleep Foundation offers general guidelines based on age; it’s best to experiment and determine how much restful restful rest you require for maximum performance.
As one example, some individuals claim they can function properly with six hours of sleep per night; however, research shows this to be rare and that most of us require at least seven hours for restful nights of restful slumber.
Sleep helps your brain and body perform essential functions that enable you to work more effectively when awake, such as reenergizing cells, releasing growth hormone, helping your immune system fight disease more efficiently, improving memory retention and learning capacity, as well as increasing metabolism while simultaneously managing appetite, mood and libido.
Make sure your environment is conducive to restful, restful sleeping when setting out to doze off at night. This means keeping the bedroom dark and cool, taking steps such as turning off electronic devices and not eating or drinking too large an amount just before heading into bed. A consistent schedule can help as it sets your body in a rhythm which will enable easier nighttime sleeping as well as more refreshed morning wakings.
The Best Position
Most of us go to sleep without giving much thought to how our sleeping positions affect how well rested we are. According to researchers and doctors, your position during rest has an enormous effect on how you rest; whether on your back, side or stomach your choice could impact everything from snoring and neck/back pain symptoms to even potential medical conditions that you could develop symptoms for.
Sleep Position for optimal Results: For most people, sleeping on their back with two pillows for support and one beneath their head to keep spine aligned is ideal – as this positions distributes weight evenly over all parts of skeletal frame and reduces snoring.
Stomach sleeping can also help ease symptoms associated with sleep apnea and can reduce pain caused by sciatica or lower back issues. For optimal results when choosing this position, however, make sure your mattress provides proper support to avoid placing pressure on either spine or lower back.
Though getting enough rest is generally considered good practice, too often we fail to prioritize it. One possible rationalization for this may be thinking that cutting back on sleep could increase productivity in the short term; but while pushing through on little rest may provide temporary boosts in productivity initially, eventually this will catch up with you and cause serious productivity losses over time – according to one study those sleeping five or less hours per night experienced 29% decreased productivity when compared with those getting seven-eight hour nights of shuteye.
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These links are external and will open in a new window, as James gets at least eight hours of rest each night, frequently reaching nine. He spoke about this on an episode of Tim Ferriss Show in November 2018. To gain more insight into James’ sleep routine click here.
The Bottom Line
There is often confusion around how much sleep one needs for optimal productivity. Some may be able to survive on less than seven hours per night, though quality should always come before quantity when it comes to quality slumber.
Poor-quality sleep can have serious repercussions for daytime function. Even just an hour of poor quality rest can impair thinking and reaction time, negatively affecting mood, energy levels and overall health. Furthermore, reduced productivity may cause workplace-related accidents, absenteeism and counterproductive behaviors – which all increase as a result.
Most adults require between seven and nine hours of restful sleep each night, if this requirement is being exceeded, it might be worth making changes.
Sleep can help boost your mood, lower stress levels, strengthen immunity and increase focus. Aim for a regular sleeping pattern – going to bed and rising at the same time each night (including weekends). Avoid drinking caffeine or alcohol before bed as these substances can interfere with the natural cycle of restful slumber. Lastly, ensure your bedroom is dark, quiet, and at an acceptable temperature.