You might not need as much sleep as you think
You might not need as much sleep as you think, but you might need better sleep.
Using sleep data from its wearable devices, Fitbit researchers compared them to users’ scores on Think Fast, an app Fitbit offers on its smartwatches. They found that people who slept an average of 5 hours and 50 minutes to 6 hours and 30 minutes per night performed better on the test than people who slept more or less.
These amounts are shorter than what doctors typically advise. Public health officials and physicians have long recommended adults sleep for at least seven hours, if not more, each night. They’ve become increasingly vocal about this as people work longer hours and spend more time in front of screens before bed.
Fitbit research scientist Jonathan Charlesworth said these guidelines are based on how much time people spend in bed as opposed to how much time people actually sleep. However, he said even Fitbit’s numbers are just averages, and the numbers can vary per person, especially based on factors like age and gender.
“There are a couple things to take home here: The amount of sleep you’re getting is significantly lower than the time you spend in bed, and the optimal time is probably largely lower than what you think,” Charlesworth said