How Much Sleep is Enough?

As you know, I’ve given myself a sleep make-over and I’m currently on day #5. It has not been an easy change since I am a night owl by nature. But, I have already seen and felt the wonderful benefits of getting the sleep I need.

You might wonder, how much is enough? There is no magic number since it varies from person to person, but the average falls somewhere between 6.5-9 hours per night. My goal has been 7 hours per night. Ideally, I would LOVE 8 hours but that would really cut in to my Me time so I’m willing to compromise with that last hour.

Many of you already know how important sleep is and you’ve made it a priority, that is so wonderful . Some of you, like me, know this too but have yet to make sure you’re getting your daily dose. I hope you have done better this week and I wonder if you have felt a difference? I know I have. I think it took the start of this new school year and the fact that I had been feeling like a walking zombie for the last couple of weeks to make this change.

If you’re still not convinced that getting the sleep you need should be a priority, here are just a few of the wonderful benefits of a good night’s sleep:

  • Strengthens your immune system
  • Improves memory and concentration: I could use all the help I can get these days…Mommy brain seems to have taken up permanent residence over here.
  • Keeps your heart healthy
  • Reduces Stress: By far this has been the major improvement for me. My days seems less stressful, I’m more patient, and if things don’t go according to plan (do they ever?)…I’m more able to roll with the punches.
  • Feel more energized
  • Reduces your risk for depression
  • Increases your overall happiness: This alone, I have to admit is worth making this a lifelong commitment. My kids wake up happy and alert…one of these days, I’d love to join them. I know I’ll still need that cup of coffee to get me up and running, but that combined with a good night’s sleep and I should be good to go.

Believe me, I know, life gets in the way. I expect to have slip ups here and there but I plan on keeping sleep on my daily to-do list. Here’s to getting your daily dose of sleep and feeling great. Have a wonderful weekend!

How has your sleep been this week? If you’ve made a change, how do you feel?

47 Responses to How Much Sleep is Enough?
  1. Annette
    August 20, 2010 | 6:33 am

    I've been taking your advice, Dr. Mom! I slept about 7 hours per night over the last few days and do feel better. My son is definitely getting a more alert mommy; however, my “me-time” like you mention has suffered slightly… I know I'll find a balance. I know what you mean about “mommy brain”. I lost my keys during the “Two Lew Barbeque” and am yet to find them…Ugh! Happy well rested Friday!

  2. My 5 Monkeys(Julie)
    August 20, 2010 | 6:40 am

    sleep –since having kids. I have been able to get by with less sleep and there are times I can get enough sleep with 6 hrs. ( thats doesn't include staying up to read a book and I admit it -my fault)

  3. My 5 Monkeys(Julie)
    August 20, 2010 | 6:40 am

    sleep –since having kids. I have been able to get by with less sleep and there are times I can get enough sleep with 6 hrs. ( thats doesn't include staying up to read a book and I admit it -my fault)

  4. Kristin
    August 20, 2010 | 6:49 am

    I've been getting 7 hours the last few nights but I feel like I still need more!

  5. The Planet Pink
    August 20, 2010 | 6:51 am

    Oh man, I so need to improve in this area. I tried so hard this week to get up before the kids and failed miserably each and every day. Big, fat goose egg. Sigh. I need to start making myself get into bed sooner. I know that would make the difference.

  6. The Planet Pink
    August 20, 2010 | 6:51 am

    Oh man, I so need to improve in this area. I tried so hard this week to get up before the kids and failed miserably each and every day. Big, fat goose egg. Sigh. I need to start making myself get into bed sooner. I know that would make the difference.

  7. Bethany
    August 20, 2010 | 7:38 am

    I took a nap yesterday and was then not tired at my “bedtime”. I stayed up an hour late and I think I might feel it today. Weird that WHEN I get my sleep is almost as important as how much I get.

  8. Sherri
    August 20, 2010 | 7:52 am

    I need more exercise…helps me sleep better! It feels SO good to get up and be rested and ready to face the day!

  9. Sherri
    August 20, 2010 | 7:52 am

    I need more exercise…helps me sleep better! It feels SO good to get up and be rested and ready to face the day!

  10. Miel Abeille
    August 20, 2010 | 7:57 am

    I see a huge difference in my attitude when I've had enough sleep. Working on it, slowly but surely. :)

  11. Miel Abeille
    August 20, 2010 | 7:57 am

    I see a huge difference in my attitude when I've had enough sleep. Working on it, slowly but surely. :)

  12. Amber
    August 20, 2010 | 8:12 am

    What perfect timing. I am terrible at getting enough sleep each night—usually 6 if I'm lucky—and it was just NOT working! I have been paying closer attention and making myself go to bed earlier. Last night I got 7.25 and I feel wonderful this morning! Thanks for the reminder!

  13. Amber
    August 20, 2010 | 8:12 am

    What perfect timing. I am terrible at getting enough sleep each night—usually 6 if I'm lucky—and it was just NOT working! I have been paying closer attention and making myself go to bed earlier. Last night I got 7.25 and I feel wonderful this morning! Thanks for the reminder!

  14. Leanne
    August 20, 2010 | 9:25 am

    Ok . . . Ok . . . I'm convinced. If that list wasn't enought to push me into the reality of importance of sleep, I don't know what will. So, THAT'S IT!!! I'm caught up on some blog projects I've been working on, so I'm a JUMPING ON THE WAGON TONIGHT … I will be in bed at 10PM!!! I'll tell you tomorrow how it goes!

  15. Leanne
    August 20, 2010 | 9:25 am

    Ok . . . Ok . . . I'm convinced. If that list wasn't enought to push me into the reality of importance of sleep, I don't know what will. So, THAT'S IT!!! I'm caught up on some blog projects I've been working on, so I'm a JUMPING ON THE WAGON TONIGHT … I will be in bed at 10PM!!! I'll tell you tomorrow how it goes!

  16. Lindsay
    August 20, 2010 | 9:46 am

    I got a solid 7-8 hrs. Tuesday and Wednesday nights and did feel more energetic and overall happier. I was a naughty girl last night and stayed up 'til 1! I just was NOT tired. And I'm feeling it now.

    Will. Try. Harder. Sleep is an important part of “me” time, as evidenced above!

  17. Lindsay
    August 20, 2010 | 9:46 am

    I got a solid 7-8 hrs. Tuesday and Wednesday nights and did feel more energetic and overall happier. I was a naughty girl last night and stayed up 'til 1! I just was NOT tired. And I'm feeling it now.

    Will. Try. Harder. Sleep is an important part of “me” time, as evidenced above!

  18. Alana, Author of Domestically Challenged
    August 20, 2010 | 9:59 am

    This is a great post! I need to do this, but the stress I have had lately has made me an insomniac. So, I'm not really getting close to the 7-8 hours I need to function, much less thrive.

  19. Alana, Author of Domestically Challenged
    August 20, 2010 | 9:59 am

    This is a great post! I need to do this, but the stress I have had lately has made me an insomniac. So, I'm not really getting close to the 7-8 hours I need to function, much less thrive.

  20. This Mom
    August 20, 2010 | 10:25 am

    I have prioritized sleep since I got mono in university and felt like I was on another planet.

    My friends still can't get over the fact that I will leave a party “early” (e.g. 11 p.m. is as late as I can manage for regular book-club get togethers) since I know the girls will be up at 6:30 and I need to be well-rested. The newborn phase was extremely hard on me, but since my youngest has been sleeping through the night, I get my 8 hours consistently.

    It also requires being more efficient, prioritizing and multi-tasking during the day. I make time to give my kids individual attention, of course, but there are moments they have to be independent so I can get things done. I won't stay up til midnight doing laundry. I refuse!

    Thanks for this great post!

    Kate @ This Mom Loves

  21. This Mom
    August 20, 2010 | 10:25 am

    I have prioritized sleep since I got mono in university and felt like I was on another planet.

    My friends still can't get over the fact that I will leave a party “early” (e.g. 11 p.m. is as late as I can manage for regular book-club get togethers) since I know the girls will be up at 6:30 and I need to be well-rested. The newborn phase was extremely hard on me, but since my youngest has been sleeping through the night, I get my 8 hours consistently.

    It also requires being more efficient, prioritizing and multi-tasking during the day. I make time to give my kids individual attention, of course, but there are moments they have to be independent so I can get things done. I won't stay up til midnight doing laundry. I refuse!

    Thanks for this great post!

    Kate @ This Mom Loves

  22. Cheryl D.
    August 20, 2010 | 10:59 am

    I'm glad you're doing better! I just got back from vacation. I slept a lot more than I do at home! But I didn't feel more refreshed. Can your body get used to just having less sleep? I wonder.

  23. Cheryl D.
    August 20, 2010 | 10:59 am

    I'm glad you're doing better! I just got back from vacation. I slept a lot more than I do at home! But I didn't feel more refreshed. Can your body get used to just having less sleep? I wonder.

  24. Missy @ Wonder, Friend
    August 20, 2010 | 12:25 pm

    I love that you're doing this. I've just embarked on a health & fitness makeover; sleep is one of my focuses. I'm a night owl, too – it's tough to shut down and go to bed!! But I'm working on it. Thanks for an encouraging post!

  25. Missy @ Wonder, Friend
    August 20, 2010 | 12:25 pm

    I love that you're doing this. I've just embarked on a health & fitness makeover; sleep is one of my focuses. I'm a night owl, too – it's tough to shut down and go to bed!! But I'm working on it. Thanks for an encouraging post!

  26. Maura
    August 20, 2010 | 12:52 pm

    Last night, I accidentally fell asleep at 8:30 PM while waiting for my boys to close their eyes. I don't remember the last time I got 9 hours of sleep. Maybe I'll need to make this accidental bedtime a habit.

  27. Maura
    August 20, 2010 | 12:52 pm

    Last night, I accidentally fell asleep at 8:30 PM while waiting for my boys to close their eyes. I don't remember the last time I got 9 hours of sleep. Maybe I'll need to make this accidental bedtime a habit.

  28. WhisperingWriter
    August 20, 2010 | 1:13 pm

    I love my sleep.

    I need 8 hours or else I'm cranky.

  29. WhisperingWriter
    August 20, 2010 | 1:13 pm

    I love my sleep.

    I need 8 hours or else I'm cranky.

  30. melissa {adventuroo}
    August 20, 2010 | 1:51 pm

    Man, I LURVE sleep but it seems that I can't get more than 6.5 hours lately. I'm best at 8 and can function normally at 7. Luckily hubby and I take turns sleeping in on the weekends.

  31. melissa {adventuroo}
    August 20, 2010 | 1:51 pm

    Man, I LURVE sleep but it seems that I can't get more than 6.5 hours lately. I'm best at 8 and can function normally at 7. Luckily hubby and I take turns sleeping in on the weekends.

  32. Mrs.Mayhem
    August 20, 2010 | 2:01 pm

    That's great you're feeling better with more rest!

    After reading your last post, I was motivated to go to bed early, BUT then I kept getting caught up in various projects. So I figure I'll start going to bed early when the kids go back to school.

  33. Mrs.Mayhem
    August 20, 2010 | 2:01 pm

    That's great you're feeling better with more rest!

    After reading your last post, I was motivated to go to bed early, BUT then I kept getting caught up in various projects. So I figure I'll start going to bed early when the kids go back to school.

  34. Heligirl
    August 20, 2010 | 5:03 pm

    Oh sleep, how I miss thee. I'm lucky if I get 7 a night, and that seems to do OK. Last night though it was about 5 as I had to catch a flight to SFO. I'm hoping for a nice long snooze tonight. :)

  35. Heligirl
    August 20, 2010 | 5:03 pm

    Oh sleep, how I miss thee. I'm lucky if I get 7 a night, and that seems to do OK. Last night though it was about 5 as I had to catch a flight to SFO. I'm hoping for a nice long snooze tonight. :)

  36. Leanne
    August 20, 2010 | 8:38 pm

    It's 10:38pm cst – I'm going to bed. Just thought I'd tell you! Yippiee!!! Good night! ;)

  37. Leanne
    August 20, 2010 | 8:38 pm

    It's 10:38pm cst – I'm going to bed. Just thought I'd tell you! Yippiee!!! Good night! ;)

  38. Annette
    August 21, 2010 | 1:52 am

    I just gave you the “Foxy Mama” award because I think you're a wonderful mama and an inspirational blogger. Have a great weekend!

    http://mommyspirit.blogspot.com/2010/08/foxy-mama-award.html

  39. Magic Ear Kids
    August 21, 2010 | 7:00 pm

    Glad to hear you're doing better! Keep at it, the sleeping is just as addictive as blogging – for me anyway.

  40. Maureen @Tatter Scoops
    August 22, 2010 | 12:18 am

    Great to hear you are doing awesome with your sleep makeover. I have settled for somewhere between 6-7 hours :D

  41. Maureen @Tatter Scoops
    August 22, 2010 | 12:18 am

    Great to hear you are doing awesome with your sleep makeover. I have settled for somewhere between 6-7 hours :D

  42. Heligirl
    August 22, 2010 | 2:58 pm

    How is the sleep makeover going now?

  43. Heligirl
    August 22, 2010 | 2:58 pm

    How is the sleep makeover going now?

  44. Rhonda
    August 22, 2010 | 6:52 pm

    That list of benefits has convinced me that I need to make more of a commitment to sleep! Thanks for sharing.

    I left you an award today on my blog!

  45. Rhonda
    August 22, 2010 | 6:52 pm

    That list of benefits has convinced me that I need to make more of a commitment to sleep! Thanks for sharing.

    I left you an award today on my blog!

  46. The Empress
    August 22, 2010 | 10:30 pm

    I know, I know, you don't have to convince me. BUT WHERE DO WE FIND THE TIME TO SLEEP????

  47. The Empress
    August 22, 2010 | 10:30 pm

    I know, I know, you don't have to convince me. BUT WHERE DO WE FIND THE TIME TO SLEEP????

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