If you haven’t checked out my Apple Blossom Festival 2009 recap, here it is!

 

I’m feeling a little groggy today.  I got into bed at a decent hour, but I laid awake for a while thinking about all the things I had to do this week.  I was also meal-planning in my head like crazy — the Husband went grocery shopping (!!) yesterday and bought all these fun foods.  So many healthy items!

 

Brekkie featured a plethora of fruits, thanks to the Huz:

CIMG4746

I had banana oatmeal with:

 

  • 1/2 cup oatmeal
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 sliced banana
  • Toppings: 1 tablespoon flax seed, blackberries, and strawberries

CIMG4747

Con cafe (obviouslllly):

CIMG4750 

How Much Sleep Do You Need?

 

Did you know that most researchers say healthy adults are built for 16 hours of wakefulness and need an average of eight hours of sleep a night

 

I was surprised to read studies show that people who sleep between 6.5 hours and 7.5 hours a night  live the longest. And people who sleep 8 hr. or more, or less than 6.5 hours, don’t live quite as long.  There is just as much risk associated with sleeping too long as with sleeping too short. The big surprise is that sleeping for 8.5 hours might really be a little worse than sleeping 5 hours!  Both very short sleep and very long sleep are associated with many illnesses—with depression, with obesity, and with heart disease—and so forth.

 

How much sleep do you get on average?  What is the minimum amount of sleep you can function well with?

 

I strive to get 7.5 hours (in bed by 10:30 and wake up at 6 AM), but I function best when I get a tad bit more.   If I have less than 6, it’s all over.

{ 49 comments }

 

  • Thinspired May 4, 2009, 4:08 am

    It’s definitely news to me that too much sleep can be as harmful as too little! Very interesting. I strive for 8 hours. I can function on 7 but I’m not at my best!

  • NoMeatAthlete May 4, 2009, 4:16 am

    I’m really happy to see you write that the optimal sleep time might be less than the 8 or 9 hours people love to think it is. So much energy is used up by the digestion process, and the better you eat the less sleep you need. After I went vegetarian I reduced my sleep time to 6-6.5 hours per night and I’ve never felt better and more energized. I truly believe that it’s the fact that it’s so much easier to digest vegetables than meat!
    One fact to motivate yourself to sleep less: One hour less per night results in 365 hours per year, which equates to a month of 12-hour days of productivity!

  • Matt May 4, 2009, 4:21 am

    I need 8. I notice that during times of peak training, I really need my sleep or my running really suffers. Sometimes this doesn’t work out as life tends to get in the way.

  • Michelle May 4, 2009, 4:30 am

    Interesting stuff. There’s actually research that says if you’re losing weight lack of sleep is one of the main culprits that will work against you. I love about 8-8 1/2 (dare I say that. I usually get about 6.5-7.5 hrs. per night.

  • just me May 4, 2009, 4:32 am

    depends on the week i’m having…but it could anywhere from 5-8 a night.

  • RhodeyGirl/Sabrina May 4, 2009, 4:37 am

    I always try to get about 8 but end up at 7 or 7.5… my body is healthier when I get 7.5 though. I need at least 7 hours to have a very clear brain, lots of energy, and a happy heart and mind.

  • Mica May 4, 2009, 4:49 am

    Great, now I’m going to be super-paranoid about sleep. šŸ˜› Haha.

    I never try for a specific number of hours, but when I get too little sleep for a few days, I turn into a cranky monster.

  • Carlee May 4, 2009, 4:54 am

    I think I get about 6-6.5 hours of sleep a night. I can definitely function on less (in grad school I was averaging 2-3 YIKES!) but my current sleep schedule seems to work pretty well. I get an extra hour on the weekend.

  • itsawrapteacher May 4, 2009, 4:56 am

    I function at exactly 7 hours of sleep. Too much and I get really lethargic and lazy. Too little and I am not a happy person to be around.

  • Leah @ Simply Fabulous May 4, 2009, 5:00 am

    I always need 7 hours.
    If I get more or less than that I feel groggy!!

    I have said “I need a vacation to recover from my vacation” so many times!

  • Victoria May 4, 2009, 5:29 am

    I really suffer from insomnia, so I aim to be in bed at least 9 hours before I need to be awake, but I usually get like 6 hours of sleep.

  • Annabel May 4, 2009, 5:31 am

    I get about 5 hours a night. it’s something i’m working on. it seems easy enough — make the time and go to sleep, right? my body has actually been waking me up at the 5-hour mark even when I have the time to sleep in! what’s with that? it’s stress, i tell you! i’m a teeth grinder, too, so i think my stress might be something that’s always right under the surface. anyhow — i have been surprised at how many studies show sleeping can prevent weight gain. See this article in Psychology Today: http://www.psychologytoday.com/rss/pto-20050727-000001.html
    Also, I’ve read over and over that during sleep is when our bodies recover from working out so we really do a disservice to our training efforts if we do not allow our bodies to heal from our efforts. When I got tendinitis, I knew I over-trained, but also wondered if inadequate recovery sleep played a role.

  • Brittny May 4, 2009, 5:40 am

    That’s really interesting that getting too much sleep can be harmful. I usually get about 7-7.5 hours, so I guess I’m good to go šŸ™‚

  • Christina May 4, 2009, 5:42 am

    I usually get 7. Any less than that and I have a headache all day. Not fun!

  • Bi0nicw0man May 4, 2009, 5:49 am

    That’s so interesting. I inherited weird sleep patterns from my Mom and often wind up with more than 8 hours sleep but never feel as good as I do when I get up after 6.5-7 hours. I never really thought about it, but now I will!

  • jenngirl May 4, 2009, 5:56 am

    Glad the husband hooked you up with some delicious looking fruit!!

    I’ve found that I function best on about 7.5 hours of sleep. 6.5-7 not being quite enough, and 8 being wayyy too much…haha like goldielocks!

  • Brandi May 4, 2009, 5:57 am

    beautiful oats, and the weekend looks like a lot of fun! I love Blue Moon šŸ™‚

    I usually get between 6-7 hours, typically.

  • iowagirleats May 4, 2009, 6:03 am

    I NEED 8 hours of sleep, otherwise I am a zombie!

  • Suzanne May 4, 2009, 6:06 am

    I’ve heard that getting both less than seven AND more than eight hours of sleep can slow down your metabolism. I try to get at least seven every night, although 7.5-8 is ideal for me. Right now I’m running on about 5, having stayed up way too late last night writing a paper šŸ˜› I’m definitely dragging!

  • Hi! I'm Erin May 4, 2009, 6:06 am

    Mmm, those strawberries look good!

    I’m always wary of those studies that link too much sleep to health issues. How do they know the health issues aren’t causing the increase in sleep time?

    I typically get about 7 hours a night. If my body has its way, though, I’ll sleep for anywhere between 8 and 10. I’ve noticed that my inability to drag myself out of bed depends more on what I need to get out of bed for rather than how many hours of sleep I got.

  • BethAnn Caputo May 4, 2009, 6:15 am

    I cannot function at all unless I get between 7-9 hours of sleep. I think it also depends on the type of activity you do throughout the day…usually even if I get a solid 8 hours the night before but I’m at school/work/gym all day (constant non stop moving) I’m ready to pass out at like 9:00 p.m. I always just listen to my body and tack on more hours when I feel I need it.

  • Lisa D. May 4, 2009, 6:28 am

    i like to get 8! but lately that hasn’t been happening. interesting research and your weekend sounded AMAZING! I love festivals and Blue Moon!

  • Weight and Meditate May 4, 2009, 6:33 am

    I usually sleep around 7.5, I guess. I DO NOT like to oversleep, although I know many who do. If I get under six it doesn’t feel too good!

  • TSNAC May 4, 2009, 6:46 am

    I know what you mean about needing a vacation to recover from your vacation:) I’m a 7-8 hour a night girl, but maybe I should cut out a half hour every night????

  • Ally May 4, 2009, 6:52 am

    Hey Caitlin, I just wanted to say I really appreciate that you wrote nothing about feeling guilty/being overindulgent this past weekend. I feel like on a lot of food blogs, writers always have a guilty overtone when posting about a couple of days of unhealthy eating. You had an absolute blast this weekend, and that should be that – no regrets! Thanks for keeping a positive and healthy mindset about it all.

  • Danielle May 4, 2009, 6:57 am

    I usually sleep between 7 and 8 hours. I would never guess that there was such a thing as too much sleep.

  • tfh May 4, 2009, 6:59 am

    Welcome home! The info. about sleep needs is fascinating– but I find I need about ten hours if I’m training hard. I wonder if the info. also pertains to athletes?

  • MaryBe May 4, 2009, 6:59 am

    I like 8, but I don’t always get 8

  • Katerina May 4, 2009, 7:12 am

    Hi Caitlin. A big round of thanks, I finished my first half marathon this past weekend and I truly think that your spirit about running was great inspiration. Keep up the great blogging!

  • Claire May 4, 2009, 7:13 am

    Let’s see…I aim for 8 but that means I’m turning out the light about 8 hours before I am to wake up, so I probably get around 7.5, maybe a little more. On a post call day, I function GREAT on 4…but that never happens, it’s more like 1! Of course, then I go home and take a 2-3 hour nap. Such is the life of a med student/resident. But in general I get probably 7.5, can function with 6.

  • seesaraheat May 4, 2009, 7:21 am

    I do well with 6 but I prefer to get 7 hours a night. If I get any more than that, it makes me feel groggy and headache-y. Sometimes though on the weekends, I will take a nap, so I think it all balances out šŸ˜‰

  • Mo May 4, 2009, 7:22 am

    I usually get 6.5 -7 hrs. and that is about perfect for me. I have tons of energy and don’t ever really feel tired.

  • Jen Makes Office Supply Art May 4, 2009, 7:37 am

    Vacation from vacation is ALWAYS essential. Good luck with recovery!

  • Run Sarah May 4, 2009, 7:38 am

    I think 8 hours is the best amount of sleep for me, but I can get by on 6!

  • Jennifer May 4, 2009, 7:50 am

    It is hard for me to function on anything less that 8 and if it is less than 5 I am delusional!

  • Niki May 4, 2009, 7:52 am

    Yummy breakfast!! I sually get 6-8 hours. I feel best with 8 but can function well with only 6! I do notice that if I get less I am sooo tired and if I get more I am soo tired all day too!

  • Amy May 4, 2009, 7:58 am

    I strive for 7 hours a night but I usually end up with 6.5-7. I feel well rested when I get that amount and typically wake up before the alarm. Any less or more makes me feel groggy the next morning.

  • Melissa @ For the Love of Health May 4, 2009, 8:07 am

    Awesome looking breakfast!! I love spring and all the wonderful fruits it brings! I can’t say it enough!

    Man oh man I wish I got 8 hours a night. I am a horrible sleeper and never ever sleep solidly through the night. I developed these awful sleeping habits while in university many years ago. I am used to it but I would love to sleep 8 solid hours! Looks like I need to correct this if I want to live to be 103! haha

  • K from ksgoodeats May 4, 2009, 8:24 am

    It looks like you had a BLAST on your trip!! How fun!

    I typically get +/- 8 hours of sleep. I always get up at the same time though!

  • Kailey (SnackFace) May 4, 2009, 8:27 am

    I. am. screwed. I average about 5-6 hours of sleep a night, and last night I got MAYBE 3.5 hours. Most times it’s because I’m working on something for school. Or blogging. But I also have sleep issues and if my mind is busy, sleep has no chance.

    Caitlin- oh my goodness I loved the recap of your weekend! I had something a bit similar for sure! It’s great to see that after I graduate, I’ll still be able to go a bit wild with my friends.

    I hope you have a great start to the week!

  • elise May 4, 2009, 8:36 am

    looks like you had a FABulous weekend. so fun seeing old friends and boozing…sometimes we need those kinds of getaways, even if it takes WAY longer to recover than it used to. i feel like such a grandma (or maybe its just called being a grown up) now when i drink/go out.

    sadly on days i work i get only 5 hours, but i really try to make up for it on my off days with 7-8 hours. i used to be such a late riser, but again, i must be a grown up, because now i cant sleep past 10, even on my laziest days!

  • Tabby May 4, 2009, 8:50 am

    oh no I need like 10 hours of sleep to feel good during the day! haha I know its too much but its also partially because of the medication that I’m on- it makes me sleepy!

  • Nicole (anotheronebitesthecrust.wordpress.com) May 4, 2009, 9:33 am

    I wish I slept more! I have serious sleep issues and it’s really hard for me to get a good nights sleep.

  • MyRunningJourney May 4, 2009, 9:47 am

    I’m pretty consistent with 7.5 – 8 hrs.

  • Holly May 4, 2009, 10:51 am

    I don’t like hearing that because I need 8-9 hours to function. It’s likely my thyroid that causes that šŸ™ but it’s already adjusted as much as it can be with medication.

  • getfitslowly May 4, 2009, 11:23 am

    I strive for 7-8.

    I usually get 5-6 during the week, but then 8-9 during the weekend. It’s soo hard for me to get sleep because I am a student, and because I cannot fall asleep before midnight-1 AM (and I have to be up at 7!)

  • Joy May 4, 2009, 11:53 am

    On weeknights I get anywhere between 7 and 8 depending on what time i fall asleep, weekends are a whole nother story though haaha. i feel tired the next day if i get under 6 as well

  • Anonymous May 4, 2009, 3:35 pm

    I strive for 9 hours, but about 1-2 times/week will usually get 12-16 hours. I realize that’s not the norm.

  • balancemycake May 4, 2009, 7:05 pm

    I feel best getting between 7-7.5 hours of sleep a night. I feel pretty much normal getting as little as 6.5, or as much as 8! šŸ™‚

Healthy Tipping Point