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Is sleeping five hours a day enough? Is your day a mess when you get less than 8 hours of sleep? Are naps a part of your daily routine? Do you feel unproductive when you don’t sleep well?

Let’s explore some aspects of sleep, how much of it you actually need and how sleep patterns and productivity relate.

It’s hardly ever that any discussion about sleep is not accompanied by these two questions:

How much should I sleep to stay fresh and optimally productive? What’s the right way of sleeping that I should follow?

Both questions seem quite simple and logical, but their answers aren’t. Almost everyone has a different opinion and different experience about it and almost everyone want you to believe what they believe. So, let’s try to explore this paradox a little further.

Stop Looking for the Magic Number

There is no magic number, the cold naked truth that you might hate to embrace, but the fact remains that no significant studies back up the much-hyped “8-hours a day” sleep.

Stop believing that your productivity is affected if you don’t get 8 hours a day to sleep. And you might soon observe your productivity not being affected at all, just like so many successful and productive people throughout the history.

Do you know how many hours did the likes of Leonardo Da Vinci, Nikola Tesla, Napoleon or Edison spare to sleep? Roughly 4 to 5, as many of them preferred cat naps instead.

Now think again and tell me if they were unproductive? If these names sound like history, what about the sleep patterns of 21 of the most prominent and successful names of recent times as highlighted in this infographic:

Sleep Patterns Of 21 Highly Successful People #infographic

The amount of sleep needed by people to perform most optimally differs, even from someone with same gender, age or health conditions.

While you may enjoy peak functioning through the day sleeping seven hours a night, some others apparently just the same as you, need 6 or 9 or even 5 hours per night of sleep to enjoy a productive and happy life.

So, if you are aware that something is not right about your sleep patterns, what to do now?

As mentioned earlier, it’s different for different people. What you need to do is believe and try finding the most productive way of life for you beyond that 8 hours a day mantra (though I’m not stressing this much will never work for you!).

The point is to give your body and mind the rest they need to recuperate and rejuvenate to face another tough day ahead, whether it’s 5 hours, 6 hours or 9 hours a day.

How to know whether you need to change your sleep patterns?

One of the best ways to gauge whether you are sleeping good enough to have an optimal day ahead is to observe how hard or effortless it is for you to stay awake during the course of the day. Or if you experience a significant cut in productivity, it also means you better beef up your sleeping patterns.

For now, take a look at those of some highly productive people of our times on the infographic and try to conclude whether or not you need to sleep 8 hours a night.

What do you think? What are your sleep patterns? And how productive are you throughout the day?

About The Author

This is a guest post by Bilal Safdar. He has a flare for success, and is trying to keep it ablaze nowadays with HomeArena.