How Much Sleep Do You Get?

How many hours a night do you sleep?

Photos and text by Gabrielle. This post is brought to you by Sleep Number®. 

Have you ever been asked the ice-breaker question: If you never had to eat again, but could remain healthy, or you never had to sleep again, but could remain healthy, which one would you rather give up?

I remember the first time I was asked this, I shouted, “I would give up food!” before the question was even finished. I like food very much, but I LOVE sleep. I flat out adore it. I love the chance to turn my brain off, I love the clean slate, fresh start feeling in the morning, and I love knowing my body can focus on repairing itself while I sleep, because I’m not asking it to do anything else. I simply love my sleep!

Related, I’m happy to tell you, I recently partnered with Sleep Number®, and over the rest of this year, I’m going to be sharing 4 posts about sleep related topics. In case you’re not familiar, Sleep Number, is THE sleep innovation leader. Their aim is to deliver the best possible sleep experience, and they achieve that goal by offering high-quality products and services, all based on their extensive research into quality sleep. In fact, the Sleep Number bed was named best bed for couples, and ranked “Highest in Customer Satisfaction with Mattresses” by J.D. Power. I’m delighted to be working with them, and as you can guess, I’m super psyched I get to write about sleep!

How many hours a night do you sleep?

For this first post, I want to talk about sleep in terms of wellness. Yes, it’s common knowledge that sleep is crucial to a healthy lifestyle. But getting enough sleep sometimes feels like wishful thinking at best, and the last priority at worst. If you feel like you’re not getting enough sleep, you’re not alone — according to a Sleep Number survey 54% of American’s don’t feel they’re getting enough sleep!

When we’re thinking of wellness, we typically talk about food and exercise — and maybe a centering practice like meditation or yoga. Sleep often doesn’t even get mentioned in the conversation, or if it does, it’s just a blanket statement like, you should get enough sleep. Not very helpful. And probably some of that is because everyone seems to have different needs when it comes to sleep.

For me, there’s a direct connection between getting enough sleep and staying healthy — a connection I’ve sadly demonstrated to myself many times over the years. If I go more than two nights without adequate sleep (meaning 8+ hours), I will for sure get a sore throat. And if I keep pushing myself, I’ll enter full blown sick mode. So I can tell you that I truly value my sleep. But you and I have both met people (maybe you’re one of them!) who do fine on 6 or 7 hours.

Do you have healthy sleep habits?

There are so many different habits when it comes to sleep. Some people love naps. Some people dread nighttime because insomnia takes over. Some people get up early, no alarm needed. Some people drag through their mornings until caffeine kicks in. Some people are deep sleepers (raising my hand here). Some people get up in the night regularly. Some people like to snuggle during the night. Some people can only sleep if no one is touching them.

When I think back to our new baby years, by far the hardest thing for me was not getting enough sleep — trying to function normally, without adequate rest, felt like torture. So getting my babies to sleep through the night was a major priority for me. But I’ve met plenty of parents who barely seem to mind the night wakings at all.

Do you have healthy sleep habits?

I want to hear what sleep means to you and I’ve got a few questions:

1) On a scale of 1 to 10, ten being the most important, how do you value your sleep? I can tell you sleep is a full-stop 10 for me!

2) What are your favorite ways to fall asleep if your mind is going a mile a minute when you fall into bed? Do you read? Count sheep? One of my favorite ways is making a list — once everything in my head is on paper, I can usually relax more easily.

3) Do you bring your phone to bed? I much prefer plugging it in to the charger and walking away for the night.

4) Do you sleep in pjs? Underwear? Bare naked? With socks? Without socks? Do you ever fall asleep in your clothes?

5) How much sleep do you think your particular body prefers each night? If I’m getting enough sleep and letting myself wake up naturally, 8.5 hours seems to be what my body wants. Though I’ve been told I’ll crave less as I get older.

6) How strict are you about going to bed clean — brushed teeth, makeup off, contacts soaking, etc.?

I always love to hear what you have to say!

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P.S. — I recently visited a Sleep Number store and found out what my personal Sleep Number® setting is. It was fun, and I learned a whole bunch about sleep patterns and what wakes us up at night. If you’d like to visit a store, here’s a link to find the closest one.

68 thoughts on “How Much Sleep Do You Get?”

  1. I love sleep too! With a one year old though it can be hard sometimes…
    1. I’d rate it a 9
    2. I never have this problem.
    3.I do bring my phone to bed, it is plugged in on my bedside table and often scroll through minutes before closing my eyes.
    4. Pjs for the season; often with socks
    5.about 8-8.5 hours in dream world.
    6. I’m not so strict. I sometimes miss taking off my make up or flossing. :/

    1. Life with a one year old! I remember it well. My kids mostly slept through the night at that age, but their day started so early — I could never sleep in! My natural pattern is to stay up pretty late, so the mornings were so hard. These days I know I can almost always sleep in on the weekend. Wishing you extra sleep minutes wherever you can find them!

    2. It makes it so much harder when you have children to get good sleep because no matter how good your routine is, no matter if you do everything right if your child wakes you up a few times during the evening your sleep will suffer.

  2. Oh, I’ve had a complicated relationship with sleep for 10+ years but it’s finally getting better, so this topic is very intriguing to me. Insomnia plagued me for years–I could fall asleep fine, it’s just that I would wake up for hours in the middle of the night. It’s so awful!!
    1. 7–I view it as really important, but had to survive without adequate amounts for so long that I know I can do it if that happens.
    2. I usually fall sleep pretty quickly, but if needed I start mentally making a list of things that made me happy that day. I like to fall asleep with a smile on my face!
    3. My phone is plugged in next to me on my nightstand. I have a pipe dream to plug it in in another room, but I use it for my alarm, so I need to find a better solution for that.
    4. I have to wear pajamas with pants. I hate having my bare legs touch each other when I sleep. So weird, I know! But no socks for sure. I sleep really hot!
    5. I do great on 7 hours of sleep. It’s what my body prefers when I have no alarm.
    6. It’s a must that I remove my makeup, brush teeth and have coconut oil on my face before crawling into bed. If a TV show or movie is in the plan with my husband at nighttime, I have to do these things before! I’ve learned to be pretty strict with my nighttime routine, it helps prevent the insomnia trap.

    1. Dang insomnia! I have only experienced it a few times on random nights, but I find it completely torturous. Exhaustion + plus know how hard the next day will be for lack of sleep = so much stress.

      I’m glad to hear it’s finally getting better for you. Yay for good sleep!

  3. I value sleep at a full 10. My favorite way to fall asleep is listening to an audio book. I’m usually able to fall asleep within 10 minutes of listening. I listen to the audio book on my phone, which is plugged into the wall right next to me. I sometimes sleep in pjs, but most often I’m usually in underwear with whatever shirt I was wearing that day (I guess that makes me a slob?), but I always go to bed with my teeth brushed and face washed. I think my body would prefer about 10 hours… but I’ve been baby sleep deprived for 18 months now… So I think I need a few years of sleep catch up before I can cut that number down.


    1. I want to to hear more about your audiobooks. Novels? Non-fiction? Do you have to avoid anything really intriguing? I ask because I think certain books would keep me awake. : )

  4. I love sleep too and have prioritized it more in recent years. Now that all my kids sleep through the night, I am actively grateful that I also get to sleep through the night. I need 8-8.5 hours to feel really good. I sleep with a shirt and undies on, no socks or pants. They make me way too hot at night. I leave my phone downstairs and feel anxious if for some reason it does end up in my room before bed. If I’m too tired to bring it downstairs, I’ll purposely put it on a shelf outside my bedroom. I’m pretty good about brushing my teeth and washing my face before bed. If I remember, I try to do this earlier in the evening when I’m putting my kids to bed. I also know that getting enough sleep is directly related to my overall health. If I get sick, I try to sleep as much as possible, and if I don’t get enough sleep for a while, I often get sick.

    1. “I am actively grateful that I also get to sleep through the night”

      I feel the same way! I don’t take my sleep for granted at all. And I find myself worrying about the new parents in my life that aren’t getting enough rest.

  5. 1) Sleep is a 9! I’m still without kids, but my partner and I do instate a fairly strict bedtime. We’re not one of those couples where one falls asleep on the couch watching TV; we prioritize sleep. In a bed. With the lights out. And the door closed. And the fan on. (Nothing like blocking out every possible distraction :)
    2) TALKING! Yep, I’m so guilty of this. Ever since I was a baby, I used to talk myself to sleep. In my late 20’s, I still do it! Although if I’m alone, I typically do 10 yoga breaths (10 counts each) to quiet my mind.
    3) My phone goes on my nightstand; I use it in the morning to wake up, but it’s too stimulating to use before bed.
    4) Just a t-shirt and underwear. I sleep very hot and usually wake up nearly sweating in the morning!
    5) My body naturally prefers about 9 hours of sleep. I wish that wasn’t the case– sometimes I feel like a baby. Last weekend, I took a red-eye flight to a friend’s bachelorette party, and I couldn’t function the whole weekend!
    6) Pretty strict– teeth brushed, face washed, contacts out, moisturizer on. After a year of bedtime slipping too close to midnight, we instated “TBT” or “tooth-brushing time” at 10pm every weeknight. If we get ready for bed then, we’re much more likely to hop in bed at 10:30pm rather than 11:30.

  6. 1. Definitely a 10! It’s my favorite part of the day, which makes people wonder if I’m depressed, but I don’t think so. Lazy, probably.

    2. I know this is bad, but….I watch tv. If I can zone out to some reruns, it keeps my mind busy from thinking about unnecessary things. If there is a lot to get done, I’m with you on at least writing it down (or just doing it: I HAVE to have everything ready to go for the next day before I lie down).

    3. Yes, but I’m trying to stop! It’s my alarm, but inevitably I get distracted.

    4. I sleep in nightgowns or short pajama sets. I can’t do long pants, and I can only do long sleeves about a week out of the year.

    5. I normally get 8-9 hours of sleep, but it’s never enough. About once a month, I’ll go for a solid 12 hour “catch up” sleep. And yes, I’d still like a siesta in the afternoon.

    6. Strict. I can’t go to bed dirty; it just grosses me out to think of “the day” still on me.

  7. I loved this post! I sometimes feel like I am the only adult that needs so much sleep. I get sick quickly if I don’t make it a priority to get at least 8-9 hours. I also need lots of space when I sleep–I hate anyone touching me or being too close to me. My husband and I always joke about getting a huge custom bed someday (he is 6’5″ and I am only 5′ 4″) so we can both have our space. I think some of my best night’s sleep happen in the guest room when I am completely alone! I need a cold, dark, quiet room to sleep well, through the night.

    1. Sleep is definitely a 10.
    2. As I am falling asleep, I definitely like to either talk to someone or let my mind think about happy places, ideas, or the past. Sometimes I picture myself walking on a beautiful beach looking for shells. I love falling asleep when it is raining.
    3. I also plug my phone in to recharge in the kitchen or somewhere far from where I will be sleeping. Sometimes my husband will get text messages in the middle of the night and even the light from his phone will wake me up.
    4. I like sleeping in summer type pj’s pretty much year around. I prefer more blankets when it gets colder. Definitely no socks.
    5. I need at least 8 hours but if it is a rare day with no morning appointments, I could easily sleep for 9-10 hours and feel very refreshed and energized.
    6. I am pretty strict about going to bed with brushed teeth and no make-up but I wish I could be more consistent on the time. Too bad, now that my kids are older–they enjoy staying up later and that pushes back my bedtime often.

    1. You’re definitely not alone, Maylene. Sleepers unite! : )

      I love your description of picturing yourself walking on the beach and collecting shells. I feel calmer just typing that out.

  8. 1) Probably a 7-8. My dilemma is that I’d like to go to sleep earlier than I do, but I miss out on the opportunity to hang out with my husband and daughter if I do that so sleep loses.

    2) I think about what I can be grateful for right that minute. Truthfully, though, because of my answer to number 1, I’m so tired I don’t usually have any trouble falling asleep.

    3) My phone is my alarm clock so it’s right next to my bed. I do check it before I go to bed and when I get up, but ear plugs and a white noise machine mean I don’t hear pings during the night.

    4) Pajamas – and I’ll wear pj pants as long as I possibly can into the warm months. They’re my favorite.

    5) I seem to prefer 7 when I can get that, but usually it’s more like 5.5 with another 20-30 minutes napping on the train into work.

    6) Mildly strict. I like to at least wash my face. I’ll do my teeth if I’m not half asleep already!

    1. “My dilemma is that I’d like to go to sleep earlier than I do, but I miss out on the opportunity to hang out with my husband and daughter if I do that so sleep loses.

      I hear you on this. Talking with the kids late at night is a treat and I hate to miss it.

  9. 1. sleep is probably an 8!
    2. I read before bed every night.
    3. My phone isn’t allowed in my bedroom, although my husband’s charges next to our bed and is used as his alarm clock. It drives me crazy if it vibrates while I’m trying to sleep.
    4. I wear cotton nightgowns. Socks only when it’s very cold!
    5. I naturally wake up after about 8+ hours of sleep.
    6. I am strict about washing my face and brushing my teeth before bed. But bedtime is often later than is good for me.

    1. Do you ever have a hard time with the phone-isn’t-allowed-in-your-bedroom rule? I’m pretty good about ignoring my phone for the night. But sometimes I can’t resist!

  10. 1) I’d say maybe a 5. My ability to sleep and desire for sleep have evolved from my college days, to new parenthood, to perimenopause. There have been phases where I would calculate the number of hours I would get if I fell asleep *right now*! Then I’d lie awake panicking because I was too anxiety ridden to sleep. Now I try to be more flexible and just roll with whatever happens.
    2) I read. I read lying in bed before I sleep. I read if I wake up in the middle of the night. I lie in bed when I wake up in the morning and read.
    3) Yes. I bring my phone to bed. I *love* Night Shift for all of the reading mentioned in 2.
    4) Underwear and occasionally socks. These menopause hot flashes are no joke.
    5) It’s been enlightening to have a Fitbit track my sleep. I tend to sleep in 2 chunks of about four hours. I read an article recently about this segmented sleep pattern being a norm historically.
    6) I am a creature of habit. I have a routine that I like to follow.

  11. 1) Sleep is maybe a 2 for me. I’d definitely take food over sleep. I’d take almost anything over sleep. I’ll sleep when I’m dead!

    2) Sexual fantasy! Or just accepting that I’m awake and not worrying about it. I have an amazing view outside my bedroom window, and I like to lie there and watch the stars, the moon, the lake, and the mountains.

    3) Unfortunately, yes. I have a strict rule about not checking it or looking at it when I wake up in the middle of the night, though.

    4) Naked, or in pretty white cotton nightgowns

    5)Seems like 8-9 hours are what my body needs.

    6) I don’t care too much about this — I don’t wear makeup often, but I usually want any eye makeup off before bed. I usually take my bath in the evening after work anyway, so I’m pretty clean before bed.

  12. 1) 10! I love sleep!

    2) I take sleeping pills and it’s the best thing ever. I have insomnia and fibromyalgia, which means I have a lot of pain. The pain keeps me from getting comfortable at night and wakes me up often, so the sleeping pills have been a godsend.

    3) No way! I only bring my phone to bed if my husband is out of town.

    4) Nighttime sleep: naked but with socks on because my feet get cold. Naps: pajamas.

    5) About 10 hours. Part of fibromyalgia is that we don’t get in to the restorative stages of sleep like normal people, so our bodies repair themselves much more slowly. Plus the pain itself is fatiguing.

    6) I always always brush my teeth and use a cleansing cloth on my face before bed! I shower in the morning, but I feel gross if I go to bed with dirty teeth and face!

    1. In my book, anyone dealing with constant chronic pain is a hero, Kristen. I love hearing you’ve figured out a sleeping pill that makes your nights comfortable.

  13. 1) Maybe a 7 or an 8? I hate when I don’t get enough sleep and feel tired, but I also dislike over-sleeping- it feels like such a waste of time to me!
    2) I try to empty my brain (think of it as a black hole with no other thoughts) or meditate (one of my favorite things is to imagine gold flowing slowly through my body- starting at the top of my head and going all the way to the floor- almost like pouring gold into a mold to create a statue, until my whole body shines- a technique I learned from my pastor during church once).
    3) I plug it into the charger right next to my bed, but only because it’s my only alarm- once I’ve plugged it in and set my alarm, I try not to look at it again.
    4) It depends on the weather- I prefer to sleep wearing a baggy t-shirt and just my underwear, but if it’s cold, I’ll wear light sweatpants to bed to keep warm. I only wear socks if it’s absolutely freezing in my bedroom- our house doesn’t technically have heat on the second floor, so once it gets down to about 50 or so degrees, my thick wool socks come on.
    5) I’m actually not sure. During the spring and summer, 8 hours seems enough, but I think during the winter and fall, I’m usually better off with 8.5 hours. I can function pretty well on less though (like 7 hours).
    6) I almost never go to bed without first brushing my teeth, brushing my hair, and taking my contacts out. If anything, I’ll skip brushing my teeth, but that’s usually only if I fell asleep on the couch and am too exhausted to. I used to shower at night, but have been showering in the morning the last few years- I loved the feeling of getting into bed completely clean and refreshed, but it messed up my hair!

  14. 1) Full 10 – I NEED my sleep. I get headaches and lose concentration without sleep.

    2) When I struggle to sleep, which is rare, it is usually because I am concerned with something, so I just get up and resolve as much of whatever needs to be done. After that, a sound machine on “ocean” helps, breathing rhythms, and using meditation techniques to relax my whole body.

    3) Being a mom with grown kids, yes, my phone is plugged in and charging on my night stand. They may never call, but if they do, it would be something important, so I would want to pick up and answer.

    4) Grandma’s advice was “Your body needs to ‘air out’.” So there was a habit of sleeping sans clothing. Robe at the ready for modesty, but I find it very hard to sleep in clothes! NEVER socks! (I think this all plays very well into my claustrophobia!)

    5) I need a good solid 6, preferably 8, but if I don’t get that solid 6 I wake up with wrinkles! I swear by it! “Beauty sleep” is REAL! Is keeps my skin younger and improves my attitude for the day!

    6) I don’t care if I am going to bed dog tired at 2 am, I MUST take a shower, brush my teeth and hair, tend to any dry skin, and to be frank, the bed must have been made (No wrinkly sheets! Fresh smelling!), and lastly, I sleep SO much better in a cold room with comfy thick/heavy covers -even in the heat of August. If these things are not taken care of, I just lay there and flip flop until I get up and do them anyway, so…JUST DO IT!

    My husband calls me the “Princess and the Pea” in a very mocking tone- hahaha! He can fall asleep anywhere and get a good sleep! I’m so jealous!

    1. I love your comment. I love how well you know yourself and your advice to JUST DO IT, since you know you’ll toss and turn anyway if you don’t.

      I’ve also never made a connection pjs and claustrophobia, but it makes sense.

  15. Sleep is an elusive treasure for me. Since I was in college, I relied on Newsweek to read myself to sleep. Then we bought a Tempurpedic mattress and my sleep ritual was ruined forever. Between a mattress that is not right for me (none of the 10 pillows I have purchased works), and Newsweek stopping print publication, I haven’t had a good night’s sleep since. Newsweek is back in print, but it is awful, so I got a subscription to Time. Still no luck. I have tried many pills, such as Melatonin and others, but sleep is still a challenge. I am envious of those of you who can sleep well. My joke is that I “sleep around.” Mark never knows where he will find me in the morning.

    1. Reading your comments I feel like I wrote them! I read before bed (not magazine, books) and I have yet to find a pillow that is great. Closest I have gotten is I can sleep on it. Simply Sleep helps if I only use it now and then, but after a couple nights in a row, it won’t work :(

  16. Hooray for a good night sleep!
    1. I give it a 10. My daily happiness is dependent on sleep. And as everyone knows, if mama ain’t happy…
    2. PeriMenopause is really messing with my sleep. I’m often awake for a few hours in the night. I plug in my earphones and listen to an audiobook or a podcast. If I get to bed on time I can fall asleep pretty easily after reading. If I’m late, it’s not pretty.
    3. I leave my phone on my desk but I bring my iPad to bed. I’m usually reading on it. Sometimes I turn off the wifi if I get carried away checking Facebook on more time.
    4. There’s no heat in my bedroom in the winter, and I live in Canada, so I wear everything I can find to bed. In the summer I wear much less. Our kids are still likely to come up after a bad dream, so we generally stay covered.
    5. More important than number of hours is the time I turn out the lights. Any later than 10:30 and I’m up until after midnight.
    6. I like clean teeth for bed. I don’t wear makeup so I can skip a face wash.

    1. “There’s no heat in my bedroom in the winter, and I live in Canada, so I wear everything I can find to bed.”

      I’m picturing your bed piled high with quilts and comforters. : )

  17. Wow, it seems like so many of you value the sleep more! I do like sleep but I would totally give that up over food.
    1) sleep’s probably about a 5 for me.
    2) I read sometimes but I’m actually just really good at telling my brain to turn off and think of nothing.
    3) My phone is on my nightstand and is my alarm clock but I don’t use it at all before bed…unless I’ve thought of something I need to add to my store list!
    4) shorts and a tee shirt. I am so not comfortable sleeping naked!
    5) I am one of those 6-7 hours of sleep people. I know I’d function better on 8 hours but let’s be honest, I’ve got 2 small children and 8 hours just isn’t going to happen any time soon!
    6) I think that toothbrushing time someone mentioned above is a genius idea and I’m going to try and institute it! I do like to brush my teeth and change into pjs before bed (I’m not a makeup or contact wearer) but often times I am so tired I will just lay down and fall immediately to sleep…waking a few hours later to do the bedtime routine!

  18. This list is so interesting. I’m loving the comments!!

    1) I value sleep but I don’t LOVE IT MORE THAN ANYTHING. I’ll put it at a 7.
    2) If I’m not tired enough to just shut off, I’ll read books on my Kindle on really low light so that my eyes get tired. I often wake up with it in bed with me somewhere! But I’m a deep sleeper, so that wakeup is in the morning, not the middle of the night.
    3) My phone is on my nightstand but it doesn’t bother me. I use it as my alarm and when I wake up I check email and do a devotional on my phone before I get out of bed and use the restroom, so moving it elsewhere seems like a pain.
    4) tank top and undies. I change into pajamas around the time the kids go to bed but then strip down quite a bit before going to sleep. I sleep WAY hotter than my husband, so I also throw off half the blankets even though I’m wearing almost nothing.
    5) I need 7.5 to 8 hours to function WELL the next day. To sleep less than that, or more, messes me up. I also LOVE naps, but they totally screw with my nighttime sleep so I try to avoid them unless we’re going to be up late or we have a baby or I’m sick.
    6) CANNOT go to sleep without brushing my teeth, almost everything else is optional to me: washing face (I rarely wear makeup), showering, etc. But waking up in the morning without having brushed my teeth the night before is the stuff nightmares are made of.

    1. I’m loving the comments, too! And I have similar habits with my pjs. I put them on at night when I’m getting ready for bed but still handing out with the family, but tend to strip down before I actually sleep.

  19. 1) I am a terrible sleeper, so I value good sleep a 10, I just never get it :)
    2) I have zero trouble falling to sleep, just can’t stay asleep. I always get in bed and read, for as long as I can

    3) Phone downstairs, bed upstairs. Our kids (20 and 24) know to call the house (land line) phone if there is an emergency at night

    4) I only fall asleep in clothes on the couch, usually while watching a movie. For years I get too warm at night, so I sleep in under ware and a tank top. I add or subtract covers with the season.

    5) At 53, I seem to function OK with 6 hours, but I don’t know if I need more than that because I never get it :)

    6) Bad about washing my face, but must must floss and brush!

    Thanks, this was fun!

  20. 1. I adore sleep and to climb in a fluffy bed with down pillows is the best feeling after a long day. So sleep is probably a 10 for me.
    2. If I can’t sleep I picture a blackboard with the things I am thinking about written on it and I erase them in my mind. I also count backwards from 100 and if I start thinking about other things I make myself start over. I also have a cat that sleeps by me and if I pet her, it sends me to sleep everytime.
    3. My phone is in our bathroom, I get up frequently at night because of a digestive disease and I always look at the time hoping it’s at least an hour before the alarm goes off!!!
    4. I sleep in pajamas, flannel in the winter and cotton the rest of the year. I get beautiful ones from my family as presents and I love the happy colors. And we keep our bedroom cold with a fluffy comforter.
    5. My ritual every night is a long bath, I hate hate showers. I read in the tub and then read in bed. I try to get 8 hours but I am up and down a lot and it is horrible the next day with burning eyes and headaches. I sleep as late as I can on weekends which helps.
    6. I must wash my face, brush and floss my teeth every night. It is a signal to my body that we are shutting down for the night plus it just feels good.

    1. “I adore sleep and to climb in a fluffy bed with down pillows is the best feeling after a long day.”

      YES! And if I had the time/energy to put freshly ironed sheets on my bed each day, I would. It’s one of my favorite things.

  21. My 74 year old mom still sleeps 8-9 hours! With 8 kids, she would read until 2 or 3 for her quiet time! All those years of sleep deprivation taught me to train my kids to sleep as a priority. Now that they are older, sleep is actually harder with the worry of them out or us waiting for curfew. I read or watch Bravo TV. I need something mindless. I sleep in pants and a tee but more often than not, the tee is on the floor. Can you say peri-menopause again? Sex completely wakes me up so that doesn’t help. I absolutely wash my face, brush teeth, and put on lotion. If I had all the time and money, I would have fresh sheets every night! I remember Oprah talking about having her sheets sent out for cleaning and pressing. That sounds like heaven!

  22. 1. Sleep is an 8 for me. I can function without it, but it affects my mood a lot.
    2. I’m an architect, and I like to design in my head to fall asleep–not something stressful like my actual home or a real project, but something completely made-up like the renovation of a house I grew up in.
    3. I have my phone on my nightstand, but I typically don’t look at it before bed unless I decide to make a to-do list to ease my mind. I write my to-do’s on my phone rather than on a piece of paper.
    4. Depends on the season, but PJs or nightgown of some sort. I slept only in undies before I had kids.
    5. 8.5 hours. Though I’ve unfortunately averaged more like 4-6 for the last 2 years. My two-year-old still doesn’t sleep through the night, and though I have no problem falling asleep when I first go to bed, I have a really hard time falling back asleep if woken up too many times.
    6. Not strict. I used to be really strict about brushing and flossing, but my habits aren’t as great now that sleep is such a priority.

    I have been thinking about sleep a lot lately because we just hired a sleep consultant to help my son sleep through the night. This is well timed!

    1. I love imagining stuff in my head like that, too! Sometimes I’ll make up stories, but sometimes it’s designing a house in my head or, like you, changing houses I know to look/flow the way I’d want them.

  23. I love food, but I could do without eating. I would be unbearable without sleep. I have been known to go to bed at the same time as my 7 year old if I’m really exhausted! I secretly love when I’m beyond tired and my husband literally tucks me in after helping me get undressed, like after a late party or a few drinks. I almost always have to be asleep before he comes to bed, otherwise I have more trouble sleeping. I never notice him coming to bed, though often I’ll talk to him about nonsense. It took him a few years of getting used to! In fact, for years and years, I used to say, in my sleep, in a freaked out voice, who’s there, what’s going on, who are you? And he’d have to say your husband, just coming to bed, go back to sleep. He has tried to record it a few times, because it’s a proper conversation with me slightly freaked out. He used to worry that I had a bad experience once at night, but I wouldn’t have a CLUE where it comes from and certainly no buried trauma here.
    We sleep in the nude especially now that son is old enough to not need me in the middle of the night. Thermostat drops automatically at night and if I’m too warm I’ll have nightmares or just dream like crazy. Once I realized that and sleep much cooler, I haven’t had as many issues (including with the talking to hubby, much less now).
    Get sidetracked easily at night so usually heading up too late, but I can fall asleep very easily and stay asleep through the night and through any movie or show hubby is watching at any volume, so phone as alarm works fine for me.
    Neat reading all the responses!

    1. I’ve never heard the connection between heat and nightmares. Sometimes our little June has bad dreams and her bed is closest to the heating vent. I wonder if that’s the issue? So glad you mentioned it.

    2. I also have more bad/stressful dreams when I’m overheated at night. I tend to get warmer as the night goes on. I’m dreading what I’ll be like when I hit menopause.

  24. 1.) I rate sleep at a 10 on my priority list too! I honestly feel awful on even 7 hours of sleep.

    2.) My favorite way to fall asleep is watching Friends. I’ve done it for 10+ years and it’s a sure fire way to knock me right out. Now that it’s on Netflix I can just tuck my phone under my pillow and nod off.

    3.) I’m in bed right now, typing this. Oops.

    4.) I need a nice cold room, with a fan, and earplugs. And soft cotton sheets. An my husband and I have discovered lately that we both sleep better if we’ve got our own blanket/comforter…I’m kind of a finicky sleeper! Otherwise, I sleep in underwear only and have the worst time sleeping at someone else’s house or sharing a hotel room and feeling like I have to not be nearly-naked. Never ever pants or socks!! I’m thinking one day soon my kid may grow tired of getting into bed with me because I don’t wear PJs but in my opinion…my sleep is too important to risk missing out! She can learn to knock when it starts to bother her! ;)

    5.) I think 9-9.5 hours is what my body prefers. Interestingly I haven’t used an alarm for years even though I work outside the home…we don’t have a strict arrival time and I prefer a less chaotic wake-up, so I just let myself wake up naturally. Luckily between my husband and daughter, I rarely sleep in so late that it throws my day off enough to matter, and I’m happier this way!

    6.) Sadly, the only thing I consistently bother to do before bed is pee – and that’s only so I don’t have to get up in the middle of the night to do it. I keep a very strict bedtime routine for my daughter, but for myself…I just can’t be bothered! I should say though that I don’t wear contacts and rarely wear makeup and my skin isn’t finicky or in need of regimented care so that simplifies it a lot!

  25. AMEN to this post! We just finished up SXSW and it is so much fun but EXHAUSTING. My boyfriend couldn’t seem to understand why I didn’t want to stay up all night, get up and go to work, and go out all night again.. for two weeks!

    1) 10!

    2) I go down through a list of favorite blogs until I reach one that isn’t updated. Yours, Oh Joy!, Cup of Jo and Smitten Kitchen are at the top of the list. After I’m all caught up, I fall asleep easily.

    3) My charger is right beside my bed, but I don’t look at it once I’m in bed.

    4) Boyfriend’s t shirt and my own jammie pants

    5) I usually get 8-9 hours, and that’s what my body seems to prefer. Even on the weekends, I’m up and out by 8 or 9.

    6) Super strict. It’s part of my bedtime routine

  26. Golly that is a hard choice. I love my sleep and and a passionate foodie too! I try for at least 7 hours a night but can cope with 5-6. I read every night before I go to sleep, it is part of my wind down, I do not take a phone into my bedroom and love to wake up naturally, usually well before the alarm clock. I always wear cotton pjs. Is Sleep Number available in Australia?

    1. Well, I’ve only slept on the Leesa a few times (it’s in the guest loft — if my mom is in town, we have her take our bed so she doesn’t have to climb the loft ladder), but I haven’t slept on a Sleep Number mattress… yet. It’s time to replace our mattress, and I’d definitely like to try Sleep Number. So I’ll report if I do.

      But here’s how I would compare the two with the info I have so far:

      I think the customer buying a Leesa mattress is thinking: I need a mattress asap. They offer one option, it comes to your door in a few days, it’s in a small box and can be easily moved into awkward apartment spaces or hard to reach areas (like our loft) while it’s in the box. Simple, fast decision. Done and done. They’re about convenience and ease.

      I think the customer buying a Sleep Number mattress is thinking: I need a good night’s sleep. Or, I need to solve my specific sleep problems. Sleep Number offers lots of different kinds of mattresses, and they’re designed to solve different problems. Ideally, a customer would shop for a Sleep Number mattress in-store and learn about the different options. Do you sleep hot? Do you sleep cold? Do you share your bed with someone who likes a firm mattress, but you like a soft mattress? Do you have health problems that interfere with your sleep? Sleep Number tries to deal with all those sorts of things and other issues too. They’re about research, science and good quality sleep.

  27. Great topic!
    1. I would rate sleep as a 10 – gotta have a good night’s sleep.
    2. I love to read before I go to sleep, even if it’s just 3-4 pages, it helps me drift off. If I have nagging thoughts, I write them down like you mentioned, that really helps get the thoughts off of my mind.
    3. I use my iPhone as my alarm clock which I love, but I never look at it at night. I don’t have any obsession w/my iPhone and emails, etc. in the middle of the night.
    4. I love love love pajamas. Flannel in the winter, cute cotton and jersey pjs in the summer. Always have, always will.
    5. I am really good on 7 hours, great on 8. I would love to get 8 hours a night but I have a 19 year old cat (she’s so old she is a vampire) that tends to start meowing right after 7 hours of sleep so there you go.
    5. I am super disciplined with my night time rituals – take off makeup, wash face, eye cream, serum, night cream, brush teeth, lip balm. I spray my pillow and sheets with lavender pikake spray and put in earplugs because my husband is a noisy sleeper. I’m off to dreamy dreamland in no time! :)

  28. 1) Around an 8. I used to be a late-night person, and could function pretty well on not very much sleep, but in the last few years, I’ve started to really feel the effects of sleep deprivation in a new way. I suspect not getting enough sleep – and maybe even the time I go to bed – is influencing my migraine headaches, which I get much more frequently in the last few years. In general, my body seems more finicky about sleep now that I am 40. I guess I’m lucky that it waited to get this finicky, since my older son had sleep apnea that made our nights rather hellish for about 6 years.

    2) I often mediate at night with the app Headspace. It’s a guided meditation app, and sometimes I’ll fall asleep by the end of a meditation and wake up in the night earphones still in. But other times, it just helps me drift off. Being clean & warm helps too. Going in the hot tub before bed has been a game-changer for me since we got one – it relaxes me, warms me up, and gives me a chance to declare the day “done.” If I can’t get in the water, a heat pack on my belly or back helps.

    3) I have my phone by my bed but usually put it on airplane mode so I know I won’t be disturbed. Either that or silent. I’ve been using Sleep Cycle app lately to track my sleep (trying to figure out the sleep-migraine link, if there is one), and I have to say the alarm clock function on that is pretty cool. It wakes you up within a certain window of time that you set, when it senses that you are already semi-awake or in light sleep.

    4) Naked at home, light nightgown on the road. I’m a big fan of a robe at the ready.

    5) Good question, I am trying to figure that out because of the migraine situation. What I’ve realized by using Sleep Cycle is that if I want to actually be ASLEEP for 8 hours, I need to be in bed quite a bit longer than that, maybe even 9 hours. I’m just not a very heavy sleeper, and I still have kids who wake in the night, plus I don’t usually fall asleep within the first 15 minutes I go to bed. I’m trying to log more time in bed and less time awake trying to force myself to still be productive.

    6) Strict, but I keep it pretty simple. The big thing is that I have to have the kitchen clean, especially if the next day is a weekday. Otherwise the morning is even more chaotic.

  29. 1) A 7, I think. I would choose eating over sleeping if asked that question!

    2) I might take a hot shower until my body relaxes and I get sleepy. I have lavender (real, not artificial scents) products in the shower, and I think those help. I also find that a dense, floppy pillow (like a feather one) on top of my head helps if I’m having trouble. Something about the weight on my head helps relax. But it can’t be over my mouth/nose because I hate having those covered up!

    3) No phone in the room! I don’t have a smartphone anyway.

    4) I’ve slept in nightgowns (for summer & pregnancy) and PJs. No socks, uck, unless really frigid.

    5) Seven hours seems about my speed. If I can get 7 each night, I’m golden.

    6) Brushing teeth, (flossing, too), contacts out, and use the toilet. They are such a habit that I can feel my body entering “sleep” mode as I do them. If I don’t use the toilet before bed, I keep feeling like I need to pee, even if I really don’t!

  30. 1) I love sleep and am so blessed to sleep well, but I would rank it an 8 out of 10.
    2) If I can’t sleep, I start with something to get my mind off things, such as starting at 100 and counting backward by 3’s. Or I start at my toes and focus on relaxing each body part as I work up my body. If these don’t work, then it’s reading for me. I slip out of the bedroom and into my bathroom to read. I am lucky enough to have extra room in my bathroom, and I have a chair in there to sit on. I turn on the extra heater. It is comfy cozy, and as I start to fall asleep in the chair, then it’s time to hit the bed.
    3) No phone! I leave it to charge in my laundry room or bathroom.
    4) I always sleep in pajamas, usually a sleep shirt, but sometimes capris with a T. Just what I got used to as a kid. I never wanted myself or my husband to be nude and being woken by one of our kids and having to help them and/or deal with an emergency and feel I had to pull myself together with clothes before I could help. I hate the idea of sleeping in my bed in clothes, but it’s something one of my daughters does sometimes. Drives me crazy!
    5) 6.5-7 hours is perfect for me.
    6) I am pretty strict about everything being done before bed – face washed, teeth cleaned.

    One of the best things my husband convinced me to do recently was buy a hot tub. I resisted it for years because I couldn’t stand the idea of spending a bunch of money for something we might use for a little while and then stop. But we bought a used one, and it has now become a nightly ritual for us and we love it! We slip out at night before bed in our robes, and into the tub nude. It is so relaxing to enjoy the warm water, both with and without the jets. Watch the sky. Relax. Enjoy each other’s company. Love it! And it really helps with the sleep!

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