Inadequate sleep can do a number on our ability to get through the day. Should we aim for a solid eight hours? Julie Lindsey, MD, a family medicine doctor in Chapel Hill, says, “There is no magic sleep number. The average adult needs 7 to 8 hours of sleep each night to feel their best.”
Sleep is best gauged by how you feel when you wake up, she explains. “If you feel refreshed after less than eight hours, then you are probably fine. If you feel refreshed after nine hours, then you may have a higher sleep requirement."
Your quality of sleep is just as important as quantity. “If you never feel refreshed no matter how much sleep you get, it’s time to make a change," Dr. Lindsey says. "Exercise and stress management are a good place to start, as inadequate physical activity and stress can disturb sleep." If the sleep disruption or fatigue persists, it’s time to see your doctor. “That could be a sign of a sleep disorder, a medical condition, or depression.”