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For how long should one sleep?

Q: I am 15 years old and sleep for just about 8 hours. I want to bring it down to 6 to 7 hours and want to do it over 8 - 9 months. At what rate and in what way can I make this change in the most healthy manner with least harm to the body and mind?

A:Thank you for your query, an interesting one! You do not tell us why you would want to reduce your sleeping time. For a 15-year-old boy 8 hours sleep is quite adequate and not excessive. However, there is a wide variation of how much sleep people of the same age and sex require. It is true that if one could reduce ones sleeping time then one could achieve more but sleep and rest are necessary for all. If you do want to do a trial whether you could do with less sleeping time then you can reduce your sleeping time to 6 hours for a trial period of, say, two weeks. If you still feel fresh in the mornings then you could continue sleeping only 6 hours a night. You need to get your body used to less sleep and it may take longer than 2 weeks. At any rate you can try and see.

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