What's the right amount of sleep to get?

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Question from CecilleS: Good day, thank you for giving me a chance to ask this question. Is 6 hours of sleep without a nap enough for a breast cancer patient?
Answers - Helena Schotland It's interesting, everyone asks me what is the right amount to sleep. The answer is really dependent on the person. A typical range is from usually 7 to 9 hours. Some people can get by on less sleep, and some people need 10 or even 12 hours of sleep every day to feel refreshed. The right amount of sleep is whatever you need to feel rested and on top of your game. I suspect 6 hours of sleep for you is probably not sufficient.
Marisa Weiss, M.D. What happens if you get a good night sleep but you still "crash" after lunch each day? And your body is DEMANDING a time out? What do you do? And how do you manage that if you have a lot of work to do?
Helena Schotland That's actually a well-known phenomena, feeling sleepy after lunch. It's actually called the circadian dip. It's the time of day when we feel most drowsy. The only other time when we're more drowsy than this is when we fall asleep at night. I suspect the circadian dip is the reason that siestas came into existence. I think if you have the luxury or opportunity to take a nap at that time and you don't have difficulties with insomnia, take advantage of it.

The Ask-the-Expert Online Conference called Sleep Well: Healthy Habits for Good Rest featured Helena Schotland, M.D. and moderator Marisa Weiss, M.D. answering your questions about ways to improve your sleep.

Editor's Note: This conference took place in January 2007.

The materials presented in these conferences do not necessarily reflect the views of Breastcancer.org. A qualified healthcare professional should be consulted before using any therapeutic product or regimen discussed. All readers should verify all information and data before employing any therapies described here.

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