- To sleep well
- To be well-rested
- Access to a comfortable environment to sleep in
Sleep has significant effects on one's body, brain, and risks of diseases. For a full breakdown of the effects of neglect and fulfillment of this needs, please see the Effects table.
Number of sleep cycles
- Number of complete stages of REM sleep
- Number of complete stages of slow wave sleep
The number of sleep cycles undergone can be tracked daily by calculating the sum of uninterrupted 90 minute intervals of sleep, because the average sleep cycle is approximately 90 minutes long.
Calculate the number of sleep cycles per each period of uninterrupted sleep.
- Calculate the total time slept (in minutes) for each period of sleep based on the time of falling asleep and the time of awakening.
- Divide the total time slept (in minutes) by 90 to estimate the number of sleep cycles.
Calculate the sum of sleep cycles.
- Add together the number of sleep cycles per each period of sleep.
- Overall, I have been sleeping well.
- I have been sleeping for appropriate lengths of time.
- I have been falling asleep easily.
- I have been staying asleep easily.
- I have been sleeping without waking interruptions.
- I have not been feeling grogginess or sleep inertia for long after waking up.
- I have been feeling well-rested.
- I have been feeling full of energy for a majority of the day.
Sleeping needs vary from person to person depending on personal differences including:
- Physical activeness
- Medical conditions
Ideally every human should
- Have access to a comfortable environment to sleep in
- Calculate and understand personal sleep needs
Fulfill personal sleep needs daily
- Sleep for the amount of time necessary for one's body to undergo the necessary number of sleep cycles it needs
- Track sleep needs daily and/or weekly
Set daily and/or weekly nutrition goals based on personal sleep needs
- Build and maintain healthy, consistent sleeping patterns and habits
Calculate how much time you need to sleep for every day. The following table outlines sleep needs based on age. It's important to note, however, that age, sleep needs, and sleep cycles are all general approximations. Sleep needs may be ± 1–2 hours depending on personal factors, such as genetics, medications, and stress, and daily activities, such as diet, physical activity, and quality of sleep.
|Age||Sleep Needs||Sleep cycles|
|0–3 months||14–17 hours per 24 hours||9–12|
|4–11 months||12–15 hours per 24 hours||8–10|
|1–2 years||11–14 hours per 24 hours||7–10|
|3–4 years||10–13 hours per 24 hours||6–9|
|5–12 years||9–11 hours per 24 hours||6–8|
|13–17 years||8–10 hours per night||5–7|
|18–64 years||7–9 hours per night||4–6|
|65+ years||7–8 hours per night||4–6|
Be intentional about setting aside the time you need to sleep, ensuring your time spent sleeping will provide you with the number of sleep cycles you need.
Mindfully balance your daily sleep needs. If you have been sleeping poorly or if your body has been experiencing more activity or stress than usual, then try to sleep for a longer period of time.
Try to measure your sleep cycles daily or at least weekly to track your needs.
To further understand these principles in action, see a real life example of calculating, tracking, and fulfilling this need.
- Harvard Medical School: Healthy Sleep
- Healthy People 2020: Sleep Health
- The New York Times Well: How to Get a Better Night's Sleep