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How Much Sleep Do I Need?

how much sleep

You know sleep is important. Without it we feel, well, we just feel off. You might be asking yourself, “But, how much sleep do I actually need?”

Go On Vacation

One tip I’ve learned to determine how much sleep my body needs is to shut off my alarm, like I’m on vacation.

The next time you have a few vacation days, or the next time you don’t have to set an alarm to wake in the morning, wake up naturally.

When you wake, determine if you feel rested. If you do, then do the math.

What time did you fall asleep and how many hours was it before you woke up naturally. That may by a good number to start off with when you are back on the clock.

General Guidelines

These are the general guidelines from The Mayo Clinic

Age groupRecommended amount of sleep
Infants 4 months to 12 months12 to 16 hours per 24 hours, including naps
1 to 2 years11 to 14 hours per 24 hours, including naps
3 to 5 years10 to 13 hours per 24 hours, including naps
6 to 12 years9 to 12 hours per 24 hours
13 to 18 years8 to 10 hours per 24 hours
Adults7 or more hours a night

Fitting it in with Your Life

How does your life line up with what your body needs? If you find yourself too busy to make this work, these are a few suggestions that my clients follow when working on sleep.

Use your weekends wisely

If you are going to bed late because you have a laundry list of things to accomplish when you get home, try to get as much of that list completed over the weekend. Think about how much time we spend during the week doing tasks, or even just making decisions, that could have been done over the weekend.

Time spent determining what to cook for dinner, is best accomplished on the weekend in a 15 minute block of time. Yep, 15 minutes, once you are in a good routine, is all it takes to plan the whole menu for a whole week. When we spend time making these decisions every day, that time adds up to much more than 15 minutes a week.

Prepping your protein, or meal prepping in general on the weekends, will save you hours of time during the week. Not just hours of time, but hours of stress.

Coming home from work and dinner being ready, not only saves time but it saves a decent amount of stress off of your plate as well. I would also say it could save inches on your waistline too! Making decisions in the heat of the moment, when hungry and cranky from a long day, normally don’t result in healthy choices.

Spending time on weekends planning and prepping, means you will be grabbing from your healthy options each evening vs the boxed items that might be lurking in your pantry.

Less time cooking, making decisions during the week, means you can start to get to bed sooner.

Ask for Help

I have met people who try to do it all when they have a partner right next to them that might jump at the chance to help you relieve some stress (aka, find time).

Take turns driving kids to and from activities.

Car pool kids with other parents. The help doesn’t have to come from your household. I am sure there are others around you feeling this time stress as well. See if you can divide and conquer together! You never know until you ask.

Ask the kids for help. It’s never too early to start giving them some chores to accomplish. People love to feel productive, and to get them in a pattern early on is a wonderful gift to give them. In the beginning, I get it, it will take more time to teach and make sure things are done properly, but in the end the rewards will pay off tenfold.

What If I Feel Overwhelmed

We realize there is a lot that goes into your health and fitness. Sleep, Stress, Nutrition, Routines, Habits and Mindset are all their own components of our overall health.

You can’t expect yourself to perfect each area in 1 day, 1 week or even 1 month. It takes time to make changes that stick and that work for you.

Give yourself some grace and just take small steps each day in the area that you want to focus on first.

Want to save time and get on the right track faster, hire a coach. I know a good one.

Coach Jennifer

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