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Is 6 Hours of Sleep Enough? Not Really!

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Written By Anđela Rajković

Certified Sleep Consultant

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29 March 2024 6 min read

Is 6 hours of sleep enough? Let's be real – it is not!

In a world that's all about productivity, endless to-do lists, and being constantly connected, we've bought into the idea that six hours of sleep is all we need. But is that really true?

This article takes a deep dive into the science of sleep to figure out if those six hours are doing us justice. As we navigate the chaos of modern life, we'll chat about how all the external pressures have made us believe that we can get by with less shut-eye. But is that a myth? We'll explore the scientific proof that tells us we might be missing out on some serious physical and mental benefits.

We'll also chat about why quality sleep might be even more important than quantity, and we'll ask the big question: Can we really thrive on just six hours of sleep and live a healthier, more vibrant life?

How much sleep should we get according to our age

So, let's talk about how much sleep we really should be getting, considering our different stages in life.

Thus, no matter your age, the consensus is clear: six hours of sleep just doesn't cut it when it comes to giving your body and mind what they truly need.

References:

National Sleep Foundation: https://www.thensf.org/how-many-hours-of-sleep-do-you-really-need/
Mayo Clinic: https://www.sleepfoundation.org/sleep-calculator
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: https://www.cdc.gov/sleep/features/getting-enough-sleep.html

Why we should be sleeping more than six hours

Getting enough sleep is crucial for our overall well-being, and here's why we should aim for more than just six hours a night:

In a nutshell, opting for less sleep than our bodies require can have severe consequences for our mental and physical health, leaving us with a reduced quality of life. If we want to be at our best, both mentally and physically, it's clear that we need more than just six hours of sleep each night.

Reference:

The NHS: https://www.nhs.uk/every-mind-matters/mental-health-issues/sleep/

Why are we not sleeping enough

The struggle to get enough sleep each night is an all-too-familiar tale in our modern lives.

Many factors contribute to this widespread problem.

In this complex landscape, it's no wonder that we often find ourselves falling short of the recommended sleep duration.

How to get enough sleep each night

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Getting a good night's sleep can be a game-changer for your overall well-being. To secure more quality sleep each night, consider these strategies.

First, establish a consistent sleep schedule. Going to bed and waking up at the same time each day helps regulate your internal clock and enhances the quality of your sleep. Avoid erratic sleep patterns, even on weekends, to align with your natural sleep cycle.

Practice good sleep hygiene by creating an environment conducive to rest. Keep your bedroom cool, dark, and quiet. Invest in a comfortable mattress and pillows that support your sleep needs. Avoid the allure of screens before bed, as the blue light emitted from devices can disrupt your sleep cycle.

If poor sleep persists, consult a healthcare professional. They can assess your situation and may recommend sleep medicine, but this should be considered a last resort. The goal is to promote more deep and restful sleep naturally. By making these adjustments, you're likely to find yourself waking up feeling more refreshed, recharged, and ready to tackle the day ahead.

Sleep quality and sleep quantity

Sleep quality and sleep quantity are two pivotal components of a good night's sleep, each contributing to our overall well-being. Sleep quantity pertains to the total number of hours spent asleep, while sleep quality is about how deeply and restfully we slumber. Both aspects are equally significant. A proper night's sleep comprises various sleep cycles and stages, all of which play a role in restoring the body and mind. Achieving restfulness necessitates sufficient time in each sleep stage and uninterrupted sleep, as frequent awakenings can hinder the benefits. Sleep disorders that disrupt this balance can lead to cognitive impairment, mood fluctuations, and daytime fatigue, similar to the effects of insufficient sleep. It can be challenging for individuals to accurately estimate their total sleep time or discern sleep quality.

However, a helpful way to assess sleep quality is by monitoring how you feel during the day. A rejuvenating sleep of adequate duration typically leaves you feeling refreshed and mentally sharp, while poor-quality or insufficient sleep often results in daytime drowsiness, particularly during periods of low activity. Balancing both sleep quantity and sleep quality is essential for maintaining optimal health and well-being.

Conclusion

In the quest to answer the age-old question, “Is six hours of sleep enough?” it's become evident that, for most of us, those precious six hours fall short of what our bodies truly need.

Deep sleep, essential for restoration and rejuvenation, remains elusive in such brief periods of rest. While occasional nights of limited sleep are a part of life, prolonged sleep deprivation poses significant health risks and can lead to a host of physical and mental issues. Prioritizing more sleep, adjusting our routines, and recognizing the importance of a well-rounded rest will ultimately empower us to live healthier, more vibrant lives.

So, in the pursuit of better sleep, remember that when it comes to the question of whether six hours are enough, the answer often lies in the sweet embrace of a few more hours of slumber each night.

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About the author

Anđela Rajković
As a CPD certified Sleep Consultant and well-practiced sleep enthusiast, I find a lot of joy in bringing my expertise to our readers – preferably those who love to sleep. With a background in the English language and literature and a love of research, I'm always seeking new ways to share the latest sleep science and bed-related findings. And, when I'm not connecting with my readers, you can find me exploring the great outdoors, or, well, curling up in bed.
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