How Much Sleep Should I Get? Business Insider Article

by | Jun 9, 2019 | Research, Sleep

Business Insider: Elon Musk says he’s so exhausted that friends are ‘really concerned’ — here’s how much sleep you really need to stay healthy

This article discusses Tesla CEO Elon Musk who told the New York Times that he’s been logging 120 hour work weeks, the possible effects of this and how to determine how you can get a better nights sleep.

7-9 hours of sleep is the average. You may need +/- a few hours, as this is a normal bell curve with most of the population fitting in the middle. Getting less sleep may lead to long term impacts including obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, coronary heart disease, stroke, frequent mental distress, and all-cause mortality. In the short term, your cognitive ability can be decreased which can increase accidents and errors, and decrease work productivity.

Your chronotype, or body clock, determines at what time you are the most comfortable sleeping. Morning vs Night people is self-attached delineation and not a scientific marker. If you are a night owl and your schedule isn’t aligned, you will feel tired and out of sync. Most people shift chronotypes as they age. Starting as a morning person as a child, becoming a night person as a teenager and finally shifting back to a morning person with adulthood.

Your chronotype may dictate a schedule, but there are things you can do to shift it. Our bodies react to light, so having a light-filled room in the morning will tell your body it’s time to get up. Conversely, having a dark room at night will tell your body to relax and sleep. You will not suddenly change to a morning person but this can help you make it to work/class on time.

To determine the best sleep patterns for you, try going to bed when you are tired and waking up whenever it’s natural in the morning. Limit caffeine and alcohol and try to get sun and exercise.  If you find you still aren’t able to sleep consider seeing a professional. You may have a sleep disorder like sleep apnea.

It’s worth spending some time on sleep to avoid long term consequences.