I remember a study that showed that people who get less or more than 7h of sleep die sooner (the larger the deviation, the sooner they die). However, I don't think this study normalized against factors that are correlated with excessive/deprived sleep.

I currently sleep 12h a day and I'm okay with it because I value my sleep time more than awake time unlike this person. If I sleep less than 12h, I notice that I'm tired during the day. Some people say that they feel lazy and cognitively impaired if they sleep 12h, but this is not the case with me.

I have seen both the 7h recommendation as well as the "sleep as much as you need to" recommendation. Which one is the best one in my situation? This question has previously been asked when the original poster asked if his 5h are enough. The top rated answerer was skeptical, and quoted the NIH: "Some people appear to need only about 7 hours to avoid problem sleepiness, whereas others need 9 or more hours of sleep". My main question is with respect to the "or more" in the NIH quote: Is 12h of sleep still reasonable/healthy?

  • 2
    "I value my sleep time more than awake time" - damn, that's heavy.
    – Eric
    Nov 19, 2014 at 6:44
  • 1
    Go see a doctor. But if you are in your teens it is normal that you need more than 8 hours sleep. I remember the study you point out (people that sleep more trend to die sooner), but it is unclear what you conclusion should be: maybe sleeping more causes bad health, but it can also be that people that are ill need more sleep! - Try going to bed and waking up at the same exact time every day (including sundays) and never use the "snooze" button of the alarm clock. That additional time you get after pressing the "snooze" button is not healthy sleep.
    – Mephisto
    Nov 19, 2014 at 19:18

1 Answer 1


By default, get as much as you need. A good reference is the website The Brain from Top to Bottom by the McGill University in Canada.

From that link:

The average adult human sleeps 7 to 8 hours per night. But about 10% of the adult population needs much more sleep at night –9 or even 10 hours–to feel wide awake during the day. At the other end of the spectrum, some 5% of the population can get along fine with only 5 or 6 hours of sleep. Thus there is no particular amount of sleep that is ideal in itself. The only real criterion for whether you’re getting enough sleep is whether you feel in good shape during the day. (...) In today’s performance-obsessed society, people often cite Napoleon, Louis XIV, and Churchill as examples of high achievers who supposedly slept only a few hours each night. But curiously, people fail to mention all the other high achievers who, like Einstein, needed 10 and sometimes even 12 hours of sleep per night!

12 hours is indeed much more than the average, but if you can get a lifestyle which allows that much sleep time and you feel rested while awake, I wouldn't worry too much. It's something you can discuss with your doctor the next time you go there for a routine check-up.

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