Can I learn to need less than 8 hours sleep?

(15 Posts)
eenymeenyminyme Thu 05-Mar-20 10:00:00

I'm 48, in good health with a good diet and OK exercise levels (which I'm planning on improving very soon).

I've always needed way more sleep than anyone else I know - my alarm goes off at 6:30 in the week and I'm rarely awake before then. If I'm not asleep by 10:30 at night I'm so tired the next day - sore eyes / headaches / yawning / general feeling of fuzziness. It's annoying me though as I'm missing out on stuff because I have to go to bed so early! If I go out late on a weekend, then I zombie all day Sunday to recover, I just feel like I'm wasting so much time sleeping or recovering!

I've been through the sleep deprivation of kids and feel that I coped with that way better than I'm coping now, I thought you were supposed to need less sleep as you got older??

Are there any diet / lifestyle tips anyone can offer to make me more productive and less tired please?

OP’s posts: |
Egghead68 Thu 05-Mar-20 11:03:24

It's a myth that you need less sleep as you get older and you are not old in any case.

It's best not to skimp on sleep - it is very important for wellbeing. 8 hours is a normal amount and I think you don't want to go below 7.

If you are tired in the day, even less reason to skimp on sleep at night. Do you think you might be perimenopausal?

eenymeenyminyme Thu 05-Mar-20 14:22:03

Hmm... I'll have to google peri symptoms I guess but I guess there's a chance.


OP’s posts: |
MrsTerryPratchett Thu 05-Mar-20 14:23:43

Keto gave me insomnia and now I have 7 hours. I don't recommend it.

picklebarrelfalls Thu 05-Mar-20 14:28:04

You should get into a routine with whatever bedtime/wake time suits your needs and stick to it as much as possible, no lie ins on weekends for instance - set your alarm for your usual weekday time and your body should get used to it. Eventually 😬
I've read a lot of things about sleep and perpetual tiredness (cos I suffer too) and a lot claim that too much sleep can make you more tired. I haven't tried it myself yet though 🤦🏽‍♀️

eenymeenyminyme Thu 05-Mar-20 14:40:39

picklebarrelfalls I have heard that but I tend to go out til about 1am on Saturdays (big live music fan) so I can't see that setting my alarm for 6.30 on Sunday would be a good idea...

As an aside, the song I have set as my alarm has just come on the radio - how spooky is that?!!

Guess I'll have to find bands that play matinee performances... grin

OP’s posts: |
picklebarrelfalls Thu 05-Mar-20 14:53:22

Well I suppose if you set the alarm to have the same amount of sleep you have normally i.e if you go to bed 2 hrs later than normal, set your alarm for two hours later so that way you're still getting your quota, but without over doing it.
I do believe the no lie ins to be a solid argument. If I sleep in I just can't get going.


eenymeenyminyme Thu 05-Mar-20 16:04:24

Yeah, that makes sense. I'll set it for 8 hours later and see how it goes. Might try slowly reducing it down to 7 1/2 though, see if I can trick myself into needing less smile

OP’s posts: |
FrogsFrogs Thu 05-Mar-20 16:17:52

I've always needed lots of sleep, I think it just varies person to person.

I love sleeping grin

dontdisturbmenow Fri 06-Mar-20 10:40:07

I've also needed a lot of sleep, and now that I'm menopausal, my sleep is completely disturbed and I need even more.

What I believe (but no scientific background to it!) is that it is not about the quantity of sleep but the quality. Some people go into a very deep sleep early after falling asleep and then will have a good amount of REM sleep. These people seem to be highly functioning on 5 hours.

Then you have those like me who get little deep sleep. Most of my sleep is light sleep and indeed, Ihave never ever needed an alarm clock to wake up, even if I need to get up at 4am (going on a flight) and put my alarm clock just in case, I will wake up.

I've thought a lot about it and what I could do to get more deep sleep, but really, it seems to come down to who I am as a person (am a natural thinker and always rushing doing things and trying to be efficient!), and my lifestyle (I have to work FT in a mentally demanding role, have a very active social life, etc...) so it's the case of just accepting that's how it is and ensuring that I do try to get at least 7 hours of sleep each night and aiming for 8.

Pentium85 Fri 06-Mar-20 10:44:45

I don’t think you can learn.

I can function very well on minimal (4-5 hours) sleep, but DH is foul if he doesn’t get at least 7 hours

hokolo Fri 06-Mar-20 10:47:40

10.30 - 6.30 is absolutely normal. It's absolutely normal! Anything between 7 - 9 hours is normal. Depriving yourself of sleep is not healthy, and increases your risk of heart disease, diabetes, obesity, and more.

MaryHerbert Fri 06-Mar-20 10:58:47

I don't think it's a good idea to cut down on sleep.

How much exercise and fresh air do you have as part of your daily routine? I do find a short brisk walk in the morning helps to wake me up and make me feel more alert and ready to start the day. A 10-15 min walk to the station is just about right. And when I worked in an office I found if I had a similar walk at lunchtime I was more awake in the afternoon.

eenymeenyminyme Fri 06-Mar-20 11:47:20

How much exercise and fresh air do you have as part of your daily routine?
I park my car 10 mins away from the office so get a walk at the beginning and end of my working day. I don't get a lunch break though as I only work 6 hours a day.

OP’s posts: |
Emptywallet Fri 06-Mar-20 11:48:31

If you find the answer to this can you tell my DH!

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