Are you looking to find your best sleep and have better focus in your daily life? Who isn't? I recently interviewed Arianna Huffington, cofounder and editor in chief of The Huffington Post and author of the new book, The Sleep Revolution: Transforming Your Life One Night at a Time, where I learned even more about the importance of sleep. Otherwise, she said, "everything becomes transactional. You go through the motions — you go to your meetings, you get your to-do list. There's no joy and there's no real creativity."
In the quest to make sleep a priority Arianna recommends finding your "sleep number." No, this isn't the setting on a mattress as some advertisements may lead you to believe. This means figuring out how many hours you really need a night to wake up naturally without an alarm and feel energized. It varies by person, so start by paying attention and tracking the hours you're getting each night (and how you feel the next day) to find out what your body needs. Age may be nothing but a number, but it is also a key determining factor for how much sleep we need so you should factor it in, too.
How did Arianna figure out her magic number — and how can you? Just try sleeping without an alarm. "You will wake up!," she promises. "And you will you wake up fully rested, so that's how you know. Mine is 8." I recommend testing on a Saturday, when you're not booked for an 8:30 a.m. SoulCycle ride.
To find your magic number test out the hours recommended by the National Sleep Foundation (and Arianna's book):
|Age||Hours of sleep|
|Newborns (0-3 months)||14-17 hours|
|Infants (4-11 months)||12-15 hours|
|Toddlers (1-2 years)||11-14 hours|
|Preschoolers (3-5)||10-13 hours|
|School-age children (6-13)||9-11 hours|
|Teenagers (14-17)||8-10 hours|
|Young adults (18-25)||7-9 hours|
|Adults (26-64)||7-9 hours|
|Older adults (65+)||7-8 hours|