How Much Sleep Do You Really Need?

The best person to determine how much sleep you need is you. If you feel tired, you probably need more sleep. But science does offer some more specific guidance.

The magic number is 7. People who sleep seven hours a night are healthier and live longer. Sleeping less than seven hours is associated with a range of health problems including obesity, heart disease, depression and impaired immune function. But sleep needs vary greatly by individual. Age, genetics, lifestyle and environment all play a role. The National Sleep Foundation recently updated its sleep recommendations based on age. 

While these numbers are useful guidelines, they really don’t tell you anything about your individual sleep needs, which are largely determined by genetics — and strongly influenced by your habits. So make sure you stay happy and healthy for a good nights sleep.