Are You a Doctor?

Heck no. I’m just a guy who had trouble sleeping and wanted to find out why. None of the content on is a medical opinion. Please consult your doctor for actual medical advice.

Why do I Need Sleep?

Because otherwise you would be very very tired.

Not only that, but during sleep your body does a lot of work to fight off infection and repair injuries, and your brain works to solidify the day’s learning and memory.

How Much Sleep Should I Get?

If you’re an adult, you should sleep between 7.5 and 9 hours per night, every night. Sleeping for six hours a night on weekdays, and then 16 hours straight on the weekend is not the same.

If you’re not an adult, sleep times vary. Babies sleep a lot!

Newborn to 2 months 12 – 18 hours
3 months to 1 year 14 – 15 hours
1 to 3 years old 12 – 14 hours
3 to 5 years old 11 – 13 hours
5 to 12 years old 10 – 11 hours
12 to 18 years old 8.5 – 10 hours
Adults 7.5 – 9 hours

Older people tend to sleep less than adults, but it’s not clear if this is because they need less sleep, or because of age-related sleep disorders.

Why Can’t I Fall Asleep?/ Why Do I Wake Up During the Night?

Check our sleep articles for lots of information on sleeping tight, but here’s a quick rundown of the most common reasons:

  • You drank coffee, tea, pop, or a sugary drink
  • You drank an alcoholic drink before bed
  • You are sleeping with a full stomach, or you ate something hard to digest
  • You hang out in your bed reading, watching TV, or doing things that aren’t sleep
  • You are stressed out about something in your life
  • You are stressed out about not being able to sleep and are staring at the clock
  • You were physically active right before bed
  • You recently changed your sleep schedule due to moving, time zones, or work
  • You have a condition or injury that’s causing pain
  • Your bedroom is too hot, too bright, or too noisy
  • You snore and/or have sleep apnea
  • You’re on medication or taking a supplement that acts as a stimulant
  • You’ve been using something with a screen before bed (computer, TV, games, iPad, etc.)
  • You had a nap during the day
  • If you’re a woman, hormonal changes due to The Pill, or monthly cycle can cause insomnia

Does my Sleep Position Matter?

That depends on you. Some sleeping positions are associated with pains and problems, but their likelihood depends on your own unique body shape.

  • If you lie on your back, this can make existing conditions like sleep apnea and snoring worse. Some people can also get lower back pain from this.
  • If you sleep on your stomach, this can cause neck or back pain.
  • If you sleep with your arms up under your pillow, you might develop some shoulder pain.
  • If you sleep on the edge of the bed, you might wake up on the floor.

Did you ever see that episode of Seinfeld where Kramer only slept for 20 minutes every four hours?