Philosophy on Sleep
Sleep makes almost everything better. Taking time for adequate rest is one of the best things you can do for your body, as it’s the time our bodies use to heal and recharge our systems.
How much sleep do we need? This is an individual answer based on your homeostatic sleep drive and circadian rhythm. Your homeostatic sleep drive is the amount of sleep you naturally need to feel rested. Most of us need 7-8 hours per night, but there are certainly some who only need 5 hours or some who need a whopping 11 hours. The best way to know your homeostatic sleep drive is to remember back to your younger years (when fewer of us had sleeping issues) and think about how much sleep you needed to feel great. There’s your answer.
Sleep changes as we age, and my elder patients often have unrealistic expectations that they will sleep through the night uninterrupted like most teenagers do. When we’re older, our sleep pattern can become more like that of a small baby or child, where we sleep a few hours and then are up for a little while, and then fall asleep again. If napping is necessary during the day, I recommend limiting nap time to 20 minutes or less.