What's Your Beauty Sleep Number? Calculate How Much Shut-Eye You Really Need

What's Your Beauty Sleep Number? Calculate How Much Shut-Eye You Really Need

What's Your Beauty Sleep Number? Calculate How Much Shut-Eye You Really Need 

We've all heard that getting enough sleep is crucial for health and well-being, but how much is "enough"? The amount of sleep each person needs can vary greatly depending on age, lifestyle, and other factors. In this article, we will explore the science behind sleep requirements, explore the consequences of too little or too much sleep, and provide tips to help you determine your personal "beauty sleep number." 

The Science of Sleep 

Our bodies follow a natural circadian rhythm and cycle through different sleep stages throughout the night. There are two main types of sleep - non-rapid eye movement (NREM) sleep and rapid eye movement (REM) sleep. NREM sleep makes up about 75% of our total sleep and gets deeper throughout the night[1]. REM sleep is when we experience dreams and our eyes dart back and forth rapidly. 

Getting adequate amounts of both NREM and REM sleep is important for physical and mental health[1][2]. Not getting enough can impair memory, mood, and immune system function. It has also been linked to increased risks of heart disease, obesity, and diabetes. The National Sleep Foundation recommends getting 7-9 hours per night for adults and even more for teenagers[3]

The recommended amounts of total sleep vary by age[1][3]

  • Newborns (0-3 months): 14-17 hours 
  • Infants (4-11 months): 12-15 hours 
  • Toddlers (1-2 years): 11-14 hours 
  • Preschoolers (3-5): 10-13 hours 
  • School-age (6-13): 9-11 hours 
  • Teenagers (14-17): 8-10 hours 
  • Younger adults (18-25): 7-9 hours 
  • Adults (26-64): 7-9 hours 
  • Older adults (65+): 7-8 hours 

These recommendations are based on research and expert consensus, but they are not set in stone. Some individuals may function optimally with slightly more or less sleep than the suggested ranges.

Insufficient or poor quality sleep can negatively impact our mood, mental focus and memory, immune function, metabolism, and more. Getting the right amount optimizes our ability to function during waking hours and maintains overall health. 

The Importance of Sleep 

Sleep plays a vital role in our overall health and functioning. During sleep, our bodies undergo various restorative processes, including[2][4]

  • Tissue repair and growth 
  • Memory consolidation and cognitive functioning 
  • Regulation of hormones and metabolism 
  • Immune system strengthening 

Adequate sleep is also essential for maintaining physical and mental energy levels, regulating mood, and reducing the risk of chronic diseases like obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular problems. 

Factors Influencing Sleep Needs 

While the general recommendations provide a baseline, individual sleep needs can vary significantly depending on genetic factors as well as lifestyle influences[5]

Genetics - Some people naturally require more or less sleep based on genetic differences in sleep-regulating systems in the brain. Identical twins tend to have more similar sleep patterns compared to regular siblings. 

Age - As we age, our sleep patterns and needs change. Babies sleep almost constantly while teens require more sleep to support development. Older adults often have more disrupted sleep. 

Gender - On average, women tend to need slightly more total sleep than men. This may be influenced by hormonal fluctuations throughout the menstrual cycle. 

Exercise - Regular physical activity promotes better quality sleep, but intense exercise too close to bedtime can negatively impact sleep onset. 

Diet - Food and drinks consumed too late at night like heavy meals, caffeine, or alcohol can disrupt sleep patterns. Eating a healthy, balanced diet supports overall wellness. 

Stress - High-stress levels produce more cortisol that can interfere with sleep onset and quality. Managing stress through relaxation techniques is important for reaping the benefits of adequate rest.

Medical conditions - Some illnesses like insomnia, sleep apnea, or chronic pain make it harder to obtain sufficient, restorative sleep. It's important to address underlying health issues contributing to poor sleep hygiene. 

By understanding factors influencing individual needs, we can more accurately calculate our personal beauty sleep prescriptions. Our sleep requirements may change over time based on lifestyle, so periodic re-evaluation is recommended. 

Assessing Your Sleep Needs 

The first step towards finding your beauty sleep number is assessing your current sleep habits and quality. Use a sleep diary or tracking app to record details like[5][6]

  • Bedtime and wake times 
  • Time taken to fall asleep 
  • Number and length of any nighttime awakenings 
  • How rested you feel upon waking 
  • Daytime sleepiness, fatigue, or impairment in focus 

It's also helpful to ask yourself questions like: 

  • Do I regularly feel well-rested in the mornings? 
  • Am I able to function at my best mentally and physically throughout each day? 
  • Do I struggle with fatigue, mood issues, or memory problems that could indicate sleep deprivation? 

Responding to these kinds of self-reflections provides insights into whether your current sleep patterns are meeting your needs. If not, it's time to start experimenting with adjustments to determine your ideal duration. 

You may also opt to use wearable sleep trackers and apps that monitor stages of sleep, heart rate variability, respiratory patterns, and more to gain objective data on sleep quality over time. This information, combined with self-assessments, helps paint an overall picture of sleep health from which to calculate an initial beauty sleep number. 

Signs of Sleep Deprivation 

Consistently failing to get enough high-quality sleep will manifest in noticeable signs and symptoms of deficiency over time[7]

  • Daytime sleepiness, fatigue, or trouble staying alert 
  • Irritability, mood changes, or depression 
  • Changes in appetite or hunger levels 
  • Difficulty concentrating or impaired memory
  • Relationship or social problems due to poor communication 
  • Increased health issues due to impacts on immune function and metabolism
  • Higher risk of accidents or errors due to impaired judgment and reaction time 

Chronic sleep deprivation also accelerates the natural aging process and contributes to a multitude of chronic conditions ranging from heart disease and diabetes to depression. 

Neglecting our sleep needs compromises not only our appearance through accelerating signs of aging but more importantly our overall health and wellbeing. It is therefore crucial we recognize signs we may not be sleeping optimally to address any deficits. 

Consequences of Oversleeping 

While getting enough sleep is crucial, oversleeping can also be problematic. Regularly sleeping more than the recommended amount can lead to[8]

  • Daytime drowsiness and fatigue 
  • Headaches and muscle aches 
  • Increased risk of depression and other mood disorders 
  • Decreased productivity and performance 

Oversleeping may also be a sign of an underlying health condition, such as sleep apnea, thyroid disorders, or other medical issues. If you consistently feel the need to sleep excessively, it's a good idea to consult with a healthcare professional. 

Tips for Improving Sleep Quality 

Once assessing current habits, make adjustments as needed to establish routines conducive for getting high-quality sleep[9]

Consistent sleep schedule - Going to bed and waking at the same time daily, even on weekends, helps regulate our circadian system for optimal sleep-wake cycles. 

Relaxing bedtime routine - Using your bedroom only for sleep and sex to condition the mind and body for rest. Incorporate calming activities like reading or meditation before lights out. 

Sleep environment - Keep your bedroom cool, dark, and quiet with minimal light or noise. Use blackout curtains or eye masks if light is an issue. 

Exercise - Engage in regular physical activity earlier in the day, not close to bedtime to avoid promoting alertness when we want to wind down. 

Diet and substances - Limit caffeine, heavy eating, alcohol, and nicotine before bed which could disrupt sleep. Hydrate properly during the day.

Relaxation techniques - Soaking in a warm bath, gentle yoga stretches, deep breathing or progressive muscle relaxation can calm the mind and body for better sleep quality. 

Address stress - Manage daily stress through activities that relax you like journaling, spending time with pets, or nature sounds/walks. Consider stress management therapies as needed. 

Making strategic adjustments to lifestyle and environment based on self-knowledge is pivotal for improving sleep quantity and quality. Track progress to determine whether changes are having the desired influence. 

Adjusting Your Beauty Sleep Number 

Once assessing current sleep and gaining insights into influencing factors, it's time to experiment with adjusting duration gradually up or down in 15-30 minute increments as needed[10]

  • Increase total sleep slowly if not feeling fully rested or noticing signs of sleep deprivation to determine the ideal amount 
  • Decrease total sleep slowly if consistently waking earlier than desired or feeling excessively sleepy during the day to establish optimal duration 
  • Track experiences and make small adjustments up or down in consultation with a sleep specialist for medical issues 
  • Factor in major life changes like new work/family responsibilities that could require shifting sleep schedule or needs over time 
  • Be flexible with your number within a reasonable range based on season, age, and overall stress/workload levels 
  • Prioritize listening to your body and re-evaluating periodically to ensure continued quality sleep aligned with current needs and preferences 

With self-knowledge, consistency, and ongoing monitoring, you can establish and adjust your personalized beauty sleep number for vibrant health, vitality, and natural radiance inside and out. 


Finding your optimal "beauty sleep number" is a highly personalized journey that requires self-awareness, experimentation, and a commitment to healthy sleep habits. By paying attention to your body's signals, adjusting your sleep duration, and implementing strategies to improve sleep quality, you can unlock the benefits of restorative sleep and wake up feeling refreshed, energized, and ready to take on the day. 

Remember, sleep is a crucial component of overall health and well-being, and investing in quality sleep is an investment in your physical and mental well-being. So, prioritize your beauty sleep, and enjoy the countless benefits it has to offer.


[1] Colten, Harvey R., et al. “Sleep Physiology.” Nih.gov, National Academies Press (US), 2024, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK19956/

[2] Patel, Aakash K., et al. “Physiology, Sleep Stages.” Nih.gov, StatPearls Publishing, 26 Jan. 2024, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK526132/

[3] Hirshkowitz, Max, et al. “National Sleep Foundation's updated sleep duration recommendations: final report.” Sleep health vol. 1,4 (2015): 233-243. 


[4] “Brain Basics: Understanding Sleep.” National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, 2023, 

www.ninds.nih.gov/health-information/public-education/brain-basics/brain-basics-understanding sleep. 

[5] Fadzil, Ahmad. “Factors Affecting the Quality of Sleep in Children.” Children (Basel, Switzerland) vol. 8,2 122. 9 Feb. 2021, doi:10.3390/children8020122 

[6] “Assess Your Sleep Needs.” Harvard.edu, 2023, 

sleep.hms.harvard.edu/education-training/public-education/sleep-and-health-education-program /sleep-health-education-92. 

[7] Health. “Sleep Deprivation.” Vic.gov.au, 2014, 


[8] Léger, Damien et al. “The risks of sleeping "too much". Survey of a National Representative Sample of 24671 adults (INPES health barometer).” PloS one vol. 9,9 e106950. 16 Sep. 2014, doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0106950 

[9] CDC. “Tips for Better Sleep.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 13 Sept. 2022, www.cdc.gov/sleep/about_sleep/sleep_hygiene.html

[10] Chaput, Jean-Philippe et al. “Sleeping hours: what is the ideal number and how does age impact this?.” Nature and science of sleep vol. 10 421-430. 27 Nov. 2018, doi:10.2147/NSS.S163071

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