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Tuesday, March 8, 2011

How Much Sleep Do You Need?

If you were put in a room without clocks and just told to sleep however much you needed at the end of a day, how many hours do you think you sleep?

a. 6 hours or less
b. Between 6 and 7 hours
c. Between 7 and 8 hours
d. Between 8 and 9 hours
e. More than 9 hours?

In one study, 95% slept between 7 and 8 hours a day.   Another 2.5% slept more than 8 hours.  That leaves just 2.5% who need less than 7 hours a day to feel rested when not tied to an alarm clock.  2 people out of 100.  Let that sink in for a second.  What are the chances you are on of those two?

How about creative people?  The famous study of violinists by Anders Ericsson in 1993 showed top performers slept an average of 8.6 hours a day and included a habit of napping during the day which accumulated to an additional 3 hours of siesta per week.  It appears that high performers incorporate habits of working and playing hard.  Sounds primal to me.

I believe that an adequate sleep cycle maximizes the body's healing and regenerative pathways and is critical for maintaining optimal health.  I fitted thick, black curtains in my bedroom to create a dark ambiance.  It aids in facilitating a deep sleep.


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