Sleep is a strange thing. Most of us walk around feeling sleep deprived a lot of the time, but then again you may have experienced the sensation of sleeping too long and feeling groggy for it. Most adults need somewhere between seven and 8.5 hours of sleep each night but of course this varies person to person. In very rare cases there are some people that can get enough rest on only four hours of sleep, while there are some people out there who would be better with 12. How much sleep you need is greatly affected by your genetics, but then other factors like you health and lifestyle of course come into play as well.
Most people are pretty busy and might not be getting enough sleep they need at night, which causes sleep deprivation and over time builds up sleep debt that is hard to get back. That’s the point where being drowsy during the day is threatening to take over.
To figure out how much sleep your body needs you can do an experiment to track your sleep times. You’ll need about a week to do so however which can be a little challenging to set aside. But if you have the time it’s interesting to know. Basically what you would need to do is choose a set bedtime to go to bed, which should be a reasonable one so that you’re not wide awake at bedtime nor are you feeling up past your bedtime. For the next week you will go to bed promptly at this time. Then all you have to do is allow yourself to sleep as your body wants to without waking up to an alarm clock or other distraction. Even if you wake up but are able to fall back asleep you should do so. During this process you should make sure not to take any naps which will throw off your calculations.
The first couple days you will sleep longer than later in the week because you will be working off any sleep debt that you have accumulated. Over the course of the week it should start to even out and you will have a good idea about how much sleep you actually need. Then with that information you just need to be able to get yourself to bed early enough that you might wake naturally by the time you need to be up on your work days. This can take a bit of adjusting since most of us are used to staying up too late, but if you know for certain how much sleep your body functions best on, it can be some good motivation to make a change.
If your sleep needs change dramatically at any point with no apparent cause you might want to get checked out by a doctor. There are different physical conditions that can cause excess tiredness or more need for sleep, which can vary from infections to hypothyroidism and even depression.