How much sleep do I need a night?

This question was asked in Arlington Heights, Illinois on 10/18/2012.
Where is the research at on how much or how little sleep is most optimal? Ever since starting medical school, I'm finding that I'm lucky if I get a full 7 hours straight of sleep, often it is less, many times it is a lot less. Just curious what the latest research might say.

Doctors Answers (2)

Richard J. Schumann Jr., MD
Answered on: 10/29/2012

For adults, the national Sleep Foundation currently recommends getting 8-9 hours per night for optimal function. Most adults only obtain 6-7 hours per night.

J. Douglas Hudson, MD, DABSM
Answered on: 10/24/2012

How much sleep you need at night is felt to be genetically determined. Some of us need 6 hours and others need 9 hours. Basically, you need enough to feel good the next day. Our jobs, schools, family and other factors often limit the hours of sleep we get. Remember, however, it is not the hours you sleep but the quality of your sleep that counts. 7 hours of good sleep is better than 10 hours of bad sleep. Good sleep is not fragmented, is composed of close to 50% in Stage N2, 25% in both REM and Stage N3.