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Sleep Debt Calculator

Created by Łucja Zaborowska, MD, PhD candidate
Reviewed by Anna Szczepanek, PhD and Adena Benn
Based on research by
Shen X, et al. Nighttime sleep duration, 24-hour sleep duration and risk of all-cause mortality among adults: a meta-analysis of prospective cohort studies; Nature; 2016
Last updated: Jan 18, 2024

You're currently reading the very first sentence of the sleep debt calculator! πŸ›οΈ

Follow the article to learn more about your sleep time hygiene and the possible health risk connected to even a little sleep deprivation.

We won't stop with the bare facts β€” we'll tell you how to figure out how much sleep you need and how many hours you should be awake.

What is sleep debt?

Let's talk about the sleep debt and sleep deprivation β€” these terms are connected but do not describe the same thing.

Sleep deprivation talks about the situation when you're not getting enough sleep. Although it can happen for various reasons, when repeated it always leads to the same thing β€” sleep debt.

Sleep debt, or sleep deficit, refers to the amount of sleep you get compared to how much you need. So if you need 7 hours of sleep but only get 5, your sleep debt would be 2 hours.

As your sleep debt grows, you may notice that waking up becomes harder and harder.

One more thing to remember β€” apart from making you feel absolutely exhausted, sleep debt may increase mortality. Researchers discovered that your risk of death might increase by even 28%! We used their meta-analysis as the base for our sleep debt calculator.

😴 Already feeling tired? Here's the sleep calculator that'll help you plan your rest!

Risks of sleep debt

Since you already know what sleep debt is, let's talk about its various consequences:

  • Problems with concentration or remembering things;
  • Intensification of stress; and
  • Headaches.

Sleep debt is also connected to the increased probability of:

  • Depression and anxiety disorders;
  • Diabetes mellitus;
  • Hypertension and heart-related diseases;
  • Digestive tract disorders;
  • Neoplasms; and
  • Alzheimer's disease.

Check how to calculate your sleep debt in a section below.‡️

πŸ’‘ Sleep debt is the most common cause of excessive drowsiness β€” check your symptoms with the Epworth sleepiness scale and the pediatric Epworth sleepiness scale calculator.

How did we calculate the sleep risk?

However silly it might sound, sleeping too much might also negatively impact your life and health β€” that's why sleep debt constitutes only a part of the sleep risk.

We based our calculation on the study by Shen et al., published in Nature in 2016. All the risks quoted in the results are compared to a standard, seven hours of sleep in patients without cancer and cardiovascular diseases.

Let's see what all this data looks like in a table!

Hours of sleep/day

Mortality risk








0 (baseline)









How much should I sleep per day?

Let's hear it again, clear and loud, the average adult human needs to sleep 7-7.5 h per day. Multiple studies proved that sleeping longer or shorter than recommended might have numerous adverse health consequences.

Yes, you heard that right β€” oversleeping can also be harmful! (not to mention that it might also lead to a severe headache, especially in vulnerable populations) 🚫.

πŸ’‘ Are you falling asleep all the time? Excessive sleepiness might indicate more dangerous disorders, such as obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) or central sleep apnea (CSA).

Fortunately, Omni created two additional tools that screen for their occurrence: the STOP-BANG calculator and the AHI calculator.

How to calculate sleep debt?

Calculating your sleep debt is extremely easy!

  1. Write down the number of hours you slept each night of the week.
    Ask yourself how long did I sleep and calculate it all, one by one.

  2. Estimate your desired amount of sleep per night.
    The recommended amount is 7-7.5 h per night or 49-52.5 h per week.

  3. Use the equation:

    Sleep debt = Recommended amount of sleep (week) - Hours slept (week)

Voila! You got it. πŸŽ‰


7 to 4 is how many hours of sleep?

That's precisely 9 hours of sleep.

If you still don't know when to sleep to achieve the best results, the answer is simple: go to sleep 7 hours before you're supposed to wake up.

7 hours of sleep will deliver you the healthiest amount of rest your body needs!

How do I figure out how much sleep I need?

There are two different ways to deal with that problem: listening to yourself or listening to the scientists. πŸ§‘β€πŸ”¬

  1. The first option relies on calculating the sleep time and closely observing your body's reaction; this process might take some time.
  2. The second option is based on the fact that a typical adult needs approximately 7-7.5 hours of sleep daily.
Łucja Zaborowska, MD, PhD candidate
⏰ How many hours did you sleep on:
Average sleep / day
Calculate how many hours you slept:
I went to bed at:
I woke up at:
Calculated sleep time
Check out 5 similar sleep calculators 😴
AHIEpworth sleepiness scalePediatric Epworth sleepiness scale… 2 more
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