Do you actually need that much sleep?

How much sleep do you actually need? As college students, we find ourselves asking that questions most nights, wither its becasue of studying, late night food run, or a party with your friends. So I decided to look into just how much sleep we need in order to function on a daily basis.


The first study I looked at was one conducted by the National Sleep Foundation, a foundation dedicated to looking to find the best ways to get the best nights sleep that you can get. For their study, they gathered a panel of 18 sleep experts of different fields in order to properly judge the most beneficial amounts of sleep per age range. after multiple test, it was determined that the optimal range for sleep was between 7-8 hours. Although, they determined that it is possible to function normally when going off of 6 hours of sleep.But they do acknowledge that the necessary amount of sleep can vary from person to person, but it is very unusual for someone to deviate too far from the mean, such as 3 hours.

But if you find yourself missing out on a lot of sleep, there is still many things that you can do to help get the most of what sleep you can get and/or get more sleep.   The first recommendation would be to stay away from caffeine if you think you’re going to be sleeping at any time in the near future, it may seem obvious, but some people like to drink a soft drink or coffee while they’re studying or hanging out with friends. Another helpful tip is to avoid watching TV or other devices right before you go to bed. This is because your the light that the screen gives off confuses your brain into thinking that you should be up (because it’s light out).


So, after researching the topic, I can conclude that its important to get at least 6 hours of sleep. Although 6 hours isn’t the optimal amount of sleep, you can still function off of it, but any less could have negative effects on health and grades. Optimally, you should get around 8 hours of sleep, or 7 hours is also seen as a good amount of sleep.


And so to bed: New guidelines from the National Sleep Foundation


3 thoughts on “Do you actually need that much sleep?

  1. Dominic DeCinque

    For me, sleep hasn’t always been a necessity. I am not the type of person who cannot function on five hours of sleep, I can feel completely normal the next day if I don’t get the amount of sleep needed for a productive days work. One thing I have noticed while being here at Penn State is that I am getting significantly more sleep than I did during high school. In high school, I would have to wake up at 6:30 and would usually get to bed around 11:30-12 doing school work. I would wakeup and be exhausted. I have always asked the question… should high schools move back their start time in the morning for more time at night? Here is an article that argues why high schools around the country should start later in the morning.

  2. Alexis Paige

    In my psych class, we learned about the sleep cycle. There are two types of sleep, REM (rapid eye movement) sleep and Non-REM sleep. Even though the brain is more active in REM sleep (the sleep where you’re most likely to dream), you actually need REM sleep more than Non-REM sleep! In REM sleep the body consolidates everything you’ve learned that day. So students who cram for a test all night are actually hurting themselves in the long run! So even taking a quick nap or two after a bad night of sleep can help you out!

  3. jnb5450

    This is a very relatable post considering the fact that us college students barely get any sleep anymore. We are up all nights during the week studying and on the weekends with our friends. It’s a big change from high school where we would have a good sleeping schedule. I thought it was really cool how you included other ways to get what you need from sleep, from other things if we don’t have the time to sleep as much. This was a very useful link. Here is a link that tells us how much sleep we really need…..:

Leave a Reply