During these busy times, when most people have to deal with hectic schedules at work, also have to take care of kids, and make sure their home is clean, once in a while, everyone wonders how to sleep less.
However, not that many realize the importance of getting a good night’s sleep in a comfortable environment on a comfortable mattress.
You must have heard scientists talking about how important getting enough sleep is, but you can’t help but wonder how to need less sleep when you think about all the things you have to accomplish in a day. So, if you actually find out how to train yourself to sleep less, is it healthy? Is it even possible? Keep on reading to figure it out.
Table of Contents
How Much Sleep Do We Need?
First and foremost it’s important to learn how much sleep we actually need. While you might be wondering how to need less sleep, it’s not going to lead to any good if you reduce your sleep time drastically and end up not getting enough sleep.
So, let’s see how much sleep a person will need according to their age.
- Newborn (less than 3 months old) - 14-17 hours
- Baby (4-11 months old) - 12-15 hours
- Toddler (1-2 years old) - 11-14 hours
- Child (3-5 years old) - 10 -13 hours
- Child (6-13 years old) - 9-11 hours
- Teenager (14-17 years old) - 8-10 hours
- Young adult (18-25 years old) - 7-9 hours
- Adults (26-64 years old) - 7-9 hours
- Older adult (65+ years old) - 7-8 hours
However, it would be best if you kept in mind that these numbers are not set in stone. They might vary by 1-2 hours. However, whatever age you are, it’s highly unlikely that you’ll need to sleep less than 6 hours.
As you might’ve noticed, the older you get, the less sleep you’ll need. Babies and young children need to sleep way more as their bodies are growing. Also, they need to get enough sleep as it fights germs, prevents obesity, and provides other health benefits.
However, despite the stressed importance of getting enough sleep, research shows that around one-third of Americans get less than seven hours of sleep nightly. 
Why Is It Important to Get This Much Sleep?
Now, if you want to know how to sleep less and better, you’d probably like to sleep less than the recommended amount. However, it’s not really advisable. The reasons for that are abundant. What you might experience first are lethargy and sleepiness. That is the most common sign of sleep deprivation.
Also, your mood might suffer. Those who lack sleep are often more irritable. This could lead to relationship problems; also, another effect of sleep deprivation is lowered sex drive. Which, as you probably know, can impact your relationship.
One more sign you will likely notice is impaired brain activity. You likely won’t be as efficient in learning as you would be, might experience memory problems, inability to concentrate. These are just a few problems you might come across, but the list doesn’t end here.
The threat that constant lack of sleep poses to us should definitely be taken seriously. Your overall body’s functionality will suffer. That’s why you need to get plenty of sleep.
How to Sleep Less?
If you’re wondering how to train yourself to sleep less, then I have good news for you. Actually, while the change you’ll make won’t likely be a drastic one, you can still improve the situation.
This mostly goes for those who seem to oversleep a lot, and not for those who squeeze in barely 6 hours of sleep nightly, wanting to reduce the number of hours even more.
The main point of all of these tips is to increase your sleeping quality. If you find yourself sleeping for 10 hours or even more and still waking up not feeling well-rested, it might be the case that your quality of sleep is lacking.
You need to fix that as soon as you can. So, check out these tips to help you with learning how to get less sleep.
Ensure Your Sleep Quality
First and foremost, what you have to do is ensure your sleep quality. It would be for the best if you monitored how much of each phase of sleep you get. If you notice that you can’t enter deeper sleep phases, the ones that are the most restorative, you might have to think about changing it.
Various factors could cause them. One of the common ones is the usage of alcohol. Alcohol might help you fall asleep faster, but it really doesn’t help you achieve deeper sleep stages. So, you should definitely abstain from heavy drinking if you want to know how to sleep less and better.
Another factor that might influence how you sleep is antidepressants. While they might help you with insomnia, if you struggle with it, certain types of medicine may prevent you from getting enough deep sleep.
Another factor could be anxiety meds that might trouble you if you want to answer the question of “how to get less sleep?”. While it’s not that common, you might experience a secondary effect of oversleeping. That happens because when taking medication for anxiety, you put your body in a relaxed state.
To put it simply, your body likes being relaxed. It doesn’t want to leave this state. Therefore, it tries to protect itself from all the irritants by making you sleepy and eventually putting you to sleep. That’s why you might sleep more than you actually need to.
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Make Sure Your Sleeping Environment Is Up-to-Par
Another crucial step you need to take to learn how to sleep less and better is ensuring that your sleeping environment is suitable. Many factors influence your sleep when it comes to the state of your bedroom. The most important factor is your comfort.
The first and the most important one in this field would be your mattress. Your mattress is the main supporter of your body in your bed. You have to make sure that your mattress is comfortable, isn’t too old, doesn’t have any lumps, and suits your needs.
Each has its own perks and drawbacks. I’d suggest you check out the linked guides on all of them to choose the type that suits you the most and invest in a high-quality mattress if you want to know how to train yourself to sleep less.
Another factor that influences your sleep quality is your pillow. Did you know that you had to replace it every 1-2 years? If you’re wondering why, make sure to check out our article on how often you should replace your pillows.
To summarize it shortly, pillows attract dust mites. Dust mites lead to allergies. Also, pillows may get lumpy and uncomfortable over time. That lowers your sleep quality, making you sleep more to get the rest that your body needs.
Another factor is the temperature of your room. You probably have not so fond memories of tossing and turning on a hot summer night, unable to fall asleep. That’s one of the factors that could affect your sleep - a room temperature that’s just too hot.
Also, the room could be too cold. As mentioned before, it’s important for you to be comfortable and shivering due to the cold is not exactly the definition of comfort. Therefore, you need to invest in warm blankets and suitable bedsheets to control the temperature.
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Another thing you can do to learn how to need less sleep is exercise daily. When you exercise, you tire your body, making it easier to fall asleep.
Now, you might think, “that energy needs to be restored with sleep, doesn’t it? So, you'll sleep more!” Well, yes, it tires you out, but research has shown that exercise improves your sleep quality , leading to less shut-eye time.
Improving your sleep quality is vital if you want to know how to sleep less. Therefore, if you don’t already exercise regularly, I’d advise you to start doing that. Not only does it help your sleep, but it also has other great benefits.
Regular exercise prevents obesity, helps your blood circulation, strengthens your muscles, and your immunity as well. Therefore, you should put some time aside to do some exercise.
Stick to a Routine
Have you ever heard of the circadian rhythm? If you haven’t, it’s a natural clock that regulates your hormones and tells your body when it’s time to eat, sleep, and do other things according to the time of the day.
Ideally, our circadian rhythm is balanced, and we feel sleepy in the evening and wake up in the morning refreshed and ready for the day.
However, it’s not that easy to achieve if you don’t stick to a routine. Just imagine, one day, you tell your body that you’re going to sleep at 11 pm and waking up at 7 am. The next day you go to sleep at 2 am only to wake up at 11 am.
Your body then becomes confused. If you tried to more or less stick to a sleep schedule, your body would get used to it and regulate your sleep. It does so by producing the sleep hormone melatonin.
Melatonin is responsible for making you sleepy and you sleeping well through the night.
There are various ways to make sure there’s enough melatonin produced, but there are also oh so many ways to sabotage it. One of the common mistakes we tend to make is looking at screens before going to sleep. The blue light that screens emit prevents melatonin production in your organism leading to the inability to fall asleep.
Take Care of Your Health
One more thing you definitely should do is take care of your health in order to ensure that you’re getting good quality sleep. Various health problems could occur. All of them, in one way or another, can influence your sleep.
Let’s start with the physical ones. Any ache or pain might prevent you from falling asleep. It can also reduce your sleep quality by making you wake up at night or not letting you achieve deeper sleep stages due to your body constantly experiencing pain and not being able to get comfortable.
Another highly probable problem is the common cold. I bet you have experienced the unpleasant feeling of trying to fall asleep when your nose is clogged, you cough every two minutes, and you’re shivering due to a fever. Not the best times, huh? So, you should strengthen your immunity and treat illnesses to get better sleep.
Also, it’s important to talk about mental health. While usually, mental health issues don’t hurt you physically, illnesses such as anxiety can prevent you from falling asleep by causing insomnia. This leads to more time spent in bed and higher fatigue. Therefore you end up sleeping more than you would have if you were healthy.
The last factor we need to talk about is sleep disorders. There are various sleep disorders, and all of them affect your sleep. It can get problematic as it is sometimes hard to notice them. You’ll have to ask your spouse, or someone from the household to monitor your sleep or use technology to do it yourself.
You might notice that you have sleep apnea, or that you grit your teeth, or you might find other problems. These issues shouldn’t be ignored, and I’d advise you to take care of them as urgently as possible if you want to ensure that you sleep well, consequently learning how to sleep less.
Due to our hectic schedules, people are trying to learn how to need less sleep. However, you should keep in mind that the guidelines of how much sleep you need are there for a reason, and you should ensure that you sleep enough according to your age.
However, if you notice that you tend to sleep more than normal, you might be able to change that. It might mean that you don’t get enough high-quality, deep sleep. What you should do is take care of your sleep quality, take care of the environment, exercise, and treat illnesses that might have an effect.
After you’ve done that, you should be able to understand how to need less sleep. So, now that you’ve seen the steps you need to take in order to sleep less, I’d suggest that you start with investing in a new mattress. Make sure to check out our best mattress guide and choose the one that suits you best.
1. Yong Liu, Anne G. Wheaton, Daniel P. Chapman et al. "Prevalence of Healthy Sleep Duration among Adults — United States"
2. Giselle Soares Passos, Dalva Lucia Rollemberg Poyares, Marcos Gonçalves Santana et al. "Is exercise an alternative treatment for chronic insomnia?"