Do we really need eight hours of sleep per night?
Not necessarily, but that’s the average for healthy adults. According to the National Institutes of Health, when healthy adults are given unlimited opportunity to sleep they are on the pillow eight to eight-and-a-half hours a night. Most sleep experts recommend between seven and nine hours to be at one’s optimum performance mentally and physically.
Do naps help?
If we really believed that life’s most valuable lessons were learned in kindergarten, we’d all be eating more cookies and taking more naps. Our grown-up culture generally frowns on the notion of daytime sleeping, but 15 or 20 minutes of shut-eye can help make up for a sleepless night and provide a freshness and clarity that seldom comes in the last few hours at work. Resting too long or too late in the day, however, can defeat the benefits by leaving the catnapper groggy in the afternoon and sleepless again at night.