Sleep is an elusive beast that can be hard to tame sometimes, and while it's recommended that we all get seven to eight hours of sleep a night, everyone's sweet spot is a bit different.
We reached out to a pool of experts in our wellness community to find out how much sleep they actually need to keep up with their busy schedules and how they manage to fit it in. Here are the shut-eye schedules that work for them:
1. Light Watkins, meditation practitioner: 6 hours
Years ago, I discovered how taking time to meditate during the day can refund me back my time because I required fewer hours of sleep in order to feel sufficiently rested. I'm usually in bed around midnight, and I wake up without an alarm around 6 a.m. feeling refreshed and ready for my day.
2. Dana Claudat, feng shui master: 8 hours
Ideally, I sleep about eight hours...and wake up without an alarm! Waking up without an alarm is the ultimate sign that I've slept enough, and while it's not always possible with super-early appointments, I try to do it most days of the week.
3. Dr. Robin Berzin, functional medicine physician: 7.5 hours
These days I need at least seven and a half hours of sleep to feel rested. I wish I were one of those doctors who felt amazing on five hours, but that's just not me. I have so much energy going out every day—to my patients, my team, my family (one husband, two dogs!)—that I really need to fully restore each night.
4. Emma Mildon, author and spiritual guru: 7 hours
Sleep really is a form of one of my meditation sessions. I always aim to get seven hours of shut-eye a night, ideally eight. Anything less and I creatively flat-line the next day.
5. Dr. Joel Kahn, cardiologist: 7 to 8 hours
The best anti-aging pill is your pillow, and I have shifted to make seven to eight hours of sleep a priority. I manage to hack it with blue-light blockers, eye masks, and white noise.
6. Heather Askinosie, crystal healer: 6 hours
In a perfect world, I am getting eight hours of sleep a day. However, life is not perfect—with kids, pets, husband, writing a book—lights out at 10 is often just a dream. Most nights, I get six hours of sleep because I am an early riser, and meditating in the morning before everyone wakes up is a nonnegotiable for me.
7. Fern Olivia, yoga instructor: 7 to 8 hours
As a thyroid and hormone expert, I am all about deep relaxation and sleep. I aim for seven to eight hours, and ideally I'm asleep by 11 p.m.—shutting off technology and my phone an hour before—and waking up between 6 and 7 a.m. It doesn't always happen; I do my best and am always compassionate with myself.
My body likes being in a natural rhythm with the Earth.
8. Dr. William Cole, functional medicine practitioner: 6 to 7 hours
My love for sleep is at constant war with my DVR. In addition to cutting down screen time at night, I will also wear amber-tinted glasses for the last two to three hours of my day. They may look nerdy, but they're one of the most effective tools to improve sleep. I also sip on chamomile tea and do mindfulness meditation before bed. I shoot for eight hours of sleep but typically get six to seven with my busy schedule. I'm a work in progress.
9. Kelly LeVeque, holistic nutritionist: 8 hours
I am ALL about supporting my circadian rhythm and, for that reason, I am in bed by 10 p.m. (11 p.m. at the latest) with a goal of eight hours of sleep. I finish eating three hours before bed and put electronics away two hours before bed or throw on amber lenses to support my melatonin production. I always sleep in a cool, blacked-out room, and when I wake up I eat breakfast right away and get out into natural sunlight for my morning jog.
10. Jonathan Galland, author and integrated health expert: 7 to 8 hours
I love coffee, so getting to sleep can be a challenge. Exercise and having a little magnesium before bedtime really help. Seven to eight hours works for me.
11. Adriana Ayales, herbalist: 4 hours
I don't even know if I sleep anymore! Before my baby, I traveled in lucid dreaming paradise. Now, I have four-hour intervals of sleep luxury.
Sleep is the No. 1 way I avoid falling down a hormonal flight of stairs.
12. Shelly Bullard, marriage and family therapist: 7 hours
I probably get around seven hours of sleep a night. I try to go to bed around 10 p.m., and I always rise with the sun (around 6 a.m. or earlier). My body likes being in a natural rhythm with the Earth.
13. Kristin Dahl, holistic nutritionist: 8 hours
Clocking a solid eight hours always feels best for me. I try my best to get to bed around the same time every night, so my body gets into a routine. The goal is to wake up feeling refreshed and energized!
14. Dr. David Greuner, surgeon: 5 to 7 hours
While everyone is a little different, I have found my sweet spot is between five and seven hours of sleep a night. I find if I sleep more than seven, I feel sluggish throughout the day, and less than five definitely makes me cranky. I find the best quality of sleep occurs for me as well between 11 p.m. and 6 a.m., when disturbances are minimal and you can take advantage of ambient light cycles.
15. Kathryn Budig, yoga teacher: 8 hours
I aim for eight hours of sleep every night but am always up when Ashi (my puggle) says it's time!
16. Lisa Viscardi, professional organizer: 8 hours
My husband would say I'm having an ongoing affair with sleep! I think my affection and need for it has to do with how much energy I emit each day. I try my best to get at least eight hours a night for a full rest and recharge.
17. Dr. Sara Gottfried, gynecologist and hormone expert: 8 hours
I sleep eight hours 99 percent of the time. I'm in bed by 10 p.m. to catch the awesome train. If I go to bed later, my health and goodwill crumble. Sleep is the No. 1 way I avoid falling down a hormonal flight of stairs!
18. Michelle Buchanan, numerologist: 6.5 to 8 hours
I get between six and a half and eight hours' sleep a night depending on my work commitments. I sleep like a log and am usually out cold by the time I've finished my prayers.
19. Dana James, nutritional therapist: 7.5 hours
About seven and a half hours. Anything less and I'm irritable, hungry, and have less clarity. I prioritize it and don't skimp on it. And there's nothing better than a weekend lie-in where the alarm isn't set. The simple pleasures.
20. Dr. Tiffany Lester, functional medicine practitioner: 7 hours
When I use the magic combo of my sleep mask and earplugs, I'm guaranteed to get at least seven hours of undisrupted sleep.
Emma Loewe is the Sustainability and Health Director at mindbodygreen and the author of Return to Nature: The New Science of How Natural Landscapes Restore Us. She is also the co-author of The Spirit Almanac: A Modern Guide To Ancient Self Care, which she wrote alongside Lindsay Kellner.
Emma received her B.A. in Environmental Science & Policy with a specialty in environmental communications from Duke University. In addition to penning over 1,000 mbg articles on topics from the water crisis in California to the rise of urban beekeeping, her work has appeared on Grist, Bloomberg News, Bustle, and Forbes. She's spoken about the intersection of self-care and sustainability on podcasts and live events alongside environmental thought leaders like Marci Zaroff, Gay Browne, and Summer Rayne Oakes.