Popular Science

How many hours of sleep do you actually need?

It depends on how well you want your brain to work
a yawning tired child


Sleep is a time suck. If you multiplied the average recommended number of hours we should sleep in a day—eight for a typical adult—by the number of days in an average lifespan (78.8 years in the United States), that would amount to about 9,587.3 days. That’s one third of your life spent unconscious. From an evolutionary standpoint, sleep is quite literally a waste of your time, yet it’s fought its way through countless years of adaptation in nearly every living animal on Earth. So it must be important, right?

In fact, researchers have found that sleep plays a vital role in the functioning of nearly every organ system in the body. At the same time, medical conditions, a busy schedule, and even the simple unavoidable act of aging constantly challenge the number of hours we allow ourselves. But that begs the question: how much sleep do we actually need? And can we train ourselves to need less?

First, let's talk about that eight hour figure that gets tossed around. It’s far from some arbitrary number

Anda sedang membaca pratinjau, daftarlah untuk membaca selengkapnya.

Lainnya dari Popular Science

Popular Science2 mnt membaca
Anatomy Of A Laugh
THE OLDEST KNOWN JOKE DATES BACK NEARLY 4,000 years, and it’s a fart gag. The fact that we’ve been crackin’ wise for so long suggests there’s something innate about the need to laugh. Heck—chimps, rats, and perhaps even dolphins do it. Neuroscientist
Popular Science1 mnt membaca
Baby Driver Grows Up
Attached to a metal shaft, the forged steel head was about the same size and weight as its contemporary wooden cousins, but differed in one key way: It was hollow. That configuration kept the mass at the perimeter, making the club slightly more forgi
Popular Science1 mnt membaca
Mind Over Muscle
IN THE 1996 FILM SPACE JAM, Bugs Bunny supplies his demoralized Looney Tunes teammates with Michael Jordan’s “Secret Stuff,” which delivers the boost they need to win the game. But unbeknownst to Daffy and the gang, it’s just water. The scene depicts