Sleep: How much do you really need?


Many people tend to go by the rule of thumb that we need eight to twelve hours of sleep to function well throughout the day. That is true, right? Well, most people seem to believe so, but what if that information simply isn’t true?

“I think it’s recommended eight hours, but I personally require more,” Mrs. Dowell, high school science teacher, said. 

A lot of people think we need at least 7-12 hours of sleep, but that is not true, we only need 90 minutes of sleep at minimum (with a few naps thrown in). 

“Completing a sleep cycle takes 90 minutes, which is where sleepers should find their most beneficial rest,” according to Eric Suni’s “Sleep Statistics”.

When trying to manipulate the sleeping cycle, people would have to be very careful because an hour is too short but two hours is too long. If somebody went to sleep for two hours, they would´ve slept for too long and would be in a deeper sleep than what they should be in. This means the person will be groggy and very tired whenever they wake up.

“Most of the time I just want to lay in bed–like I want to just lay in bed for thirty minutes or an hour if I can,” Aletheia McIntosh, freshman said.

When sleeping people go through the four stages of sleep; light, intermediate, REM, and deep. People go through these stages on average four to six times in one night. Going to sleep for an hour would also be an issue because the body expects more sleep than that, and it wouldn’t be ready to wake up whenever trying to wake up.

Of course, this leaves the question “What if I can’t grab 90 minutes of sleep?”

To answer this question there are two options. Sleep 15-20 minutes or get no sleep at all. I’ve personally gone a few nights where I’ve only slept 15-20 minutes and I operate just fine at school. I may take one nap during a boring class while I’m at school but not much more than that.

“The littlest amount of sleep I’ve gotten recently was two hours,” Zayda Sherwood, sophomore said.

This isn’t to go and say, “Only get ninety minutes of sleep every night.” Sleep is very important and it is still recommended to get at least 8 hours of sleep each night. The body needs this sleep because sleep is very essential for the body to work properly.

“Sleep regulates the release of hormones that control your appetite, metabolism, growth, and healing,” according to James Roland’s “How to Calculate When You Should Sleep”.

At the end of the day, everyone’s body is different and everyone’s body requires different amounts of sleep, so make sure to try and squeeze in the eight hours but if you can’t, ninety minutes will do just fine.

Suni, Eric Sleep Statistics” Sleep Foundation, February 8th, 2021,

Roland, James “How to Calculate When You Should Go to Sleep“ Healthline, July 21, 2020,