You may have heard of short sleepers, those people who thrive on as little as three-to-four hours of sleep a night. Why do some people need more sleep than others? There might be a cosmic connection. Here's the ideal amount of sleep you need based on your zodiac sign. While the the National Sleep Foundation recommends seven-to-nine hours of sleep for adults per night, some people have successfully bucked the trend. In 2011, CNN even reported that a genetic mutation allows short sleepers to function on a fraction of the sack time that the rest of us need, but is there more to it?
A new podcast series from HowStuffWorks, Part-Time Genius, explores why humans need sleep at all in its first episode, which aired June 7. While you might think the answer is a foregone conclusion, the question of the actual purpose of sleep is a riddle that even scientists are trying to figure out. Perhaps the question isn't one of science at all, but the influence the movement celestial bodies have on your particular star chart.
So just how much sleep do you need? The answer is based on where particular zodiac signs show up in your birth chart, so if your sun-sign sleep recommendation doesn't make sense to you it might be because other signs in your birth chart are more influential over your sleep cycles. Here's what you need to know.
1. Aries Needs 4+ Hours Of Sleep
Aries need more sleep than they're getting. Astrology website Astrospeak reported that the typical Aries gets four-to-five hours of sleep per night, but they likely need more. "Just like their symbol, the Ram, Aries wish to be ahead of everyone in the race and dive head-long into matters," Astrospeak noted. "Because they are so high on energy ... if it is not used properly, they suffer from sleep issues."
Well I guess that explains James Franco, who is an Aries. If you're a sleep-deprived Aries, Astrospeak recommends getting a few more hours by sleeping in a cool room and playing some soothing music to quiet your active mind.
Additionally, sleep blog Down Linens suggests that Aries burn off excess energy with exercise to get more restful sleep. If four-to-five hours of sleep is working for you, go with it and continue taking over the world during all of the free time you have while everyone else is sleeping.
2. Taurus Needs 7+ Hours Of Sleep
For fixed-sign Taurus, the quality of sleep is more important than the quantity, but Taurus does best with seven-to-eight hours of shut eye. "Taurus is ruled by Venus, the planet representing everything beautiful," Astrospeak noted. "Naturally, Taureans sleep well in rooms that are tastefully done or at least are very hygienically sound."
And, because Taurus is stubborn, if they get into an argument before bed, it can greatly affect the quality of their sleep because they can't let go of their frustration long enough to drift off to dreamland. What's more is that the addictive tendencies of Taurus means that they should cease drinking alcohol, or engaging with electronics a few hours before going to bed.
Taurus also needs a gentle wake-up to set them up for a good day, according to Thrive Global. "Make sure your alarm clock is gentle; a rude awakening doesn’t sit well with the bull."
Lauren Graham is a Taurus who got by on very little sleep for years, probably because she got her Zzzs in beautiful, well appointed room. If you're a Taurus having trouble sleeping, try changing up you bedroom to make it a visually appealing cozy cocoon.
3. Gemini Needs An Average Of 6 Hours Of Sleep
The over-thinking Gemini can sleep from anywhere between two and 12 hours a night, but the answer to how much sleep the twins actually need lies somewhere in the middle. Gemini may lose sleep because they stay awake worrying.
"Gemini is also ruled by Mercury, which promotes day-to-day expression and relationships," Down Linens noted. "Geminis are prone to sending an email and questioning whether or not they made the right decision, or if they did not hear back right away (because Gemini is all about communication and their communication is prompt and detailed) they ponder if that person 'hates' them."
For a Gemini, like singer-songwriter Stevie Nicks, to get restful sleep it's important for them to disengage from electronics before bed. "Turn off the cell phone and leave it in another room," Thrive Global advised. "An open window is also a good idea. The best way for Gemini to get to sleep is a simple breathing practice."
Gemini might want to try cognitive shuffling to promote sleep.
4. Cancer Needs 8+ Hours Of Sleep
Crabby Cancer sleeps best at home and may experience insomnia while traveling. Ruled by the moon, which represents sleep in the zodiac, Cancer needs to get a solid eight hours, and must feel nurtured in order to relax and slip off to sleep.
"Similar to being tucked in as a child, going to sleep should include a gentle ritual: a bath, candles, and pajamas or nighties that are soft and pastel color," Thrive Global advised.
Those born under Cancer, like Ariana Grande, can't sleep without a blanket. "A Cancer without a blanket is like a crab without its shell, the two mesh well and need each other," Down Lines noted.
If you're a Cancer having trouble getting your shut eye, make sure to tuck yourself in like a sweet little baby, and remember to treat yourself just as lovingly as you do all the other people you care for.
5. Leo Needs 7 Or Less Hours Of Sleep
Fiery Leo sleeps best next to loved ones. And, while Leo can sleep soundly for seven hours a night, they don't always need that much sleep. "The sign of the actor, some Leos can do a show, go to the after party, and then pop off to bed," Thrive Global noted. "Their adrenaline calms down easily."
Additionally, Astrospeak wrote that Leos do best sleeping on their backs like big, lazy jungle cats. "Like the king of the jungle, a Leo loves comfort and needs space to rest. They love to cuddle up too. When it is time to sleep, they prefer leaving behind all the hustle-bustle and just concentrate on sleep."
Because of their social nature, Leo may have a hard time falling asleep alone. If you're a Leo, like Jennifer Lopez, consider turning your bedroom into a sensual sleep space that both stimulates your senses, and lulls you off to la la land.
6. Virgo Needs 3+ Hours Of Sleep
Congratulations Virgo! You need very little sleep in order to thrive; no wonder Beyoncé is killing it. Because Virgo tends to be a worrier, many born under Virgo get as little as three hours of sleep per night. This is not enough — if you can shut off your mind enough to get at least five hours you'll be running at peak performance.
"These worry-warts are prone to worrying about everything, from making the bills to emailing someone at work; they suffer from an over-analyzing, neurotic, critical mind," Down Linens noted. "Career-focused Virgos suffer from work nightmares. Virgos can ease their worrying-pain with a bedtime journal. Write everything you need to down before sleeping and lighten the self-critical load Virgo."
Additionally, Thrive Global suggested that Virgo keep a tidy bedroom and use aromas like lavender to help them drift off to dreamland.
7. Libra Needs 8 Hours Of Sleep
The balance-seeking Libra needs a solid eight hours of sleep every night. "The single best health remedy for this high strung air sign is enough sleep," Thrive Global noted. "The effort of balancing and people pleasing that goes into a usual Libra day is released at night. Chamomile tea, nice nighties or PJs, and some light from a window will insure that your scales are balanced and cleansed."
Libra is also very particular about where they sleep. This is not a sign that's going to be comfortable crashing on a friend's couch. "They prefer neat and nicely done bed to enjoy a comfortable sleep," Ask My Oracle noted. "They really love their bed and they don’t mind spending more time in it. For them having a balanced sleep is extremely important as it helps them have a physical and mental balance."
If you're a Libra — like me and Alicia Silverstone — then you know that you require a beautiful, peaceful setting in order to fall asleep. Make sure your sleeping space is a balanced mix of beauty and serenity to ensure you get those coveted Zzzs.
8. Scorpio Needs 8 Hours Of Sleep
Passionate Scorpio loves to sleep, but often has trouble sleeping at night, according to Ask My Oracle. "They are born with highly active and intuitive minds which are in super-active mode during night. They are infused with high energy levels during night."
Scorpios, like Hillary Clinton, can function for long periods of time without sleep, but eventually need to hit the hay for eight hours in order to replenish. "Scorpio usually prefers a very dark room and dark colored sheets — even red," Thrive Global noted. "People of this sign wake up slowly and will many times recall dreams as they move from sleep to wakefulness."
If you're a Scorpio burning the candle at both ends, remember that what goes up must come down, and several days spent not sleeping will eventually catch up with you.
9. Sagittarius Needs Less Than 6 Hours Of Sleep
The seldom-sleeping Sagittarius explains how Keith Richards was able to stay up for nine days while recording a Rolling Stones album. "Talking about the amount of sleep they require, it is minimum that they can afford," noted Ask My Oracle. "They can happily carry on with limited amount sleep that they can comfortably manage and that’s because they are always high on energy levels."
The Sagittarius can get by on small naps, and many born under this sign view sleep as a nuisance, but they will eventually crash hard if they don't make time to get some restful shut eye. People born under this sign may also experience restless leg syndrome, so it's recommended to stretch the legs before bed.
"If Sag’s notice restless leg syndrome, take this message as the need to plan a vacation to cure your traveling-loving soul," Down Linens advised. "As a fire sign, Sag’s are usually restless but have meaningful dreams, so remember to maintain a dream or astral travel journal if you find your soul escaping to foreign places at night."
10. Capricorn Needs 7+ Hours Of Sleep
Capricorns, like Michelle Obama, generally sleep about seven-to-eight hours a night no matter what time they go to bed, according to Thrive Global. For Caps, the most serious sign in the zodiac, sleep is simply something that must be done, like eating. Because of this Caps tend to take their sleep pretty seriously.
"They usually have defined time to go to bed and wake up as they are very disciplined but they don’t mind sleeping a couple of hours extra when they are on a holiday," Ask My Oracle noted. "But this happens only when they know that no work is getting suffered because of their sleep."
One side of effect of being a serious Cap is added stress of taking everything so seriously. Stress can disrupt sleep for Capricorns so a few minutes of meditation before going to bed can help put the day aside in order to deal with the matter at hand — getting eight hours of sleep.
11. Aquarius Needs 4+ Hours Of Sleep
Super-charged Aquarians, like Justin Timberlake, can survive on very little sleep. Even exercise doesn't tired this sign out, according to Thrive Global. If you're born under Aquarius your body and mind are likely always on the go and you're sleeping as little as four hours a night on the regular.
"If there is one sign that is deprived of sleep then it is Aquarius because people born under this zodiac sign would always push themselves to stay awake till the latest hours," Ask My Oracle noted. "They are always thinking about people around them, about what they think of them, about the future and everything else possible."
Getting enough sleep is pretty much like a second job for Aquarians because your body is going to fight you every step of the way. If you're exhausted try a nighttime yoga routine, disengaging from electronics at least an hour before bed, and taking a hot bath.
12. Pisces Needs 8-18 Hours Of Sleep
"Their sleep is not just the way to relax physically but also a door to their dream world which helps them sooth on the emotional and spiritual front. This is their way of cutting themselves from the rough world outside and just enjoying being happy. They are intelligent people who also learn by analyzing their dreams."
For Pisces, sleep is an engaging activity that is not only a must for survival, but it's also as enjoyable as reading a good book, or watching an enthralling movie.
Sweet dreams my friends!