After dealing with days when I sleep well compared to days I don’t sleep well, I noticed there’s a giant difference. But I can really just split most of my tiredness and wakefulness in three categories:

Note: This is based on my own experience, everyone has different bodies and may react differently to sleep, so let this just be a guide.

1. I need more Sleep, now! Get back to bed or else I’m gonna make your life miserable forever!

Total amount of sleep: 5 hours

When you wake up after 5 hours of sleep, you WILL FEEL IT! You may feel weird in your chest and stomach, light headed, tired and just groggy and want nothing else but to sleep more. At this stage, your body can easily get back to sleep. Five hours of sleep is likely to cause you to suffer major fatigue during the day and it will be hard to be motivated to do anything. Usually, you’ll need to take a nap during the day to function well.

2. I’m kind of fine but don’t believe me, because I’m lying!

Total amount of sleep: 6 hours

I often wake up after 6 hours and simply can’t sleep anymore because of excitement. Sometimes you may wake up feeling as if you are fine, but after being awake for 30 minutes to an hour, you’ll start feeling very tired. You may also experience lightheadedness find it hard to open your eyes, though it’s not as bad as getting 5 hours of sleep. You can usually get through the day without a nap but you will be tired on and off. You may also have troubles concentrating, thinking or doing your work properly.

You can usually go back to sleep for an extra hour if you wake up having only 6 hours of sleep, though it’s a lot harder and sometimes, you may have to lie in bed for about half an hour to an hour before you can even fall asleep. Best advice is do not pressure yourself, or if you really want to do something, do it and then go back to asleep. You may also experience sleep paralysis if you wake up and go back to sleep, particularly if you got up to go to the bathroom or talked to someone.

3. I’m mostly fine, but 30 more minutes wouldn’t have hurt

Total amount of sleep: 7 hours

After 7 hours of sleep, you are generally fine to do all the things without really feeling tired during the day. However, a small part of you will tell you that you can have more sleep. I usually don’t go back to sleep if I wake up after 7 hours and find it very easy to do all the things I need to do. However, it just feels as if there’s something tiny missing.

4. I’m totally fulfilled and can carry out anything in the day

Total amount of sleep: 8 hours

One of the greatest feeling in the world! After getting 8 hours of sleep, I feel as if I’m on top of the world. I think anyone would feel it in their body after getting this much sleep, that you feel pumped up and energetic, you can think really well, and you actually feel happy. (Yes, lack of sleep can make people grumpy!) However, if you’re a constant snorer, suffer from sleep aponea or had a wild amount of active dreams, you may still be tired.

However, it’s unfortunate that most people may not get that because of stress or other reasons. I still recommend trying to get this much, because I honestly feel that sometimes, you can get so much more done with an active and working mind with smaller amount of time, rather than a tired mind working more hours.

Did you know…?

Tiredness feels very different depending on if you slept at the usual time but got up early or if you went to bed very late and got up the normal time. I tend to notice that the latter makes me a lot less tired. I think perhaps going to bed too late throws the body off balance and it doesn’t really know that you’re missing sleep.

I once heard a story about someone dying after staying up three nights in a row. Of course other factors may have contributed to his death, but try not to stay up for three days without getting any sleep.

Moral of the Story: Get 8 hours of sleep and it will fulfill your life.