Can You Train Yourself to Need Less Sleep?


Can you train yourself to need less sleep? According to Dr. Sigrid Veasey, a professor at the Center for Sleep and Circadian Neurobiology at the University of Pennsylvania’s Perelman School of Medicine, the answer is no.

While we cannot train ourselves to need less sleep, we can fool ourselves into thinking as such.

It turns out, our self-awareness begins to diminish as we deprive ourselves of sleep. We might think that we are functioning just fine on 3-4 hours a night. However, it is not our functioning that has changed, it is our ability to monitor it.

Generally speaking, most adults require somewhere between 7 and 9 hours of sleep a night.

As we head into the summer, it might be helpful to know that extended vacations can offer a great opportunity to assess how much sleep you need. If you get the chance, turn off the alarm clock for a week or two. After your body catches up on all the missing sleep it needs, you can begin to monitor how much your body needs by recording what time you go to bed and when you naturally wake up in the morning.

Written By: Eric McClerren, LAPC

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