Is Sleeping 5 Hours a Day Enough? Here's the explanation!
It's easy to delay bedtime and save sleep time. We've all been in that phase: for example, because of work, watching a newly released film, to making phone calls. Then actually, Is Sleeping 5 Hours a Day Enough? This is the Science Explanation!
Some people, who are more accurately called short sleepers, do not need much sleep. They max out with less than 6 hours a night. Why? Genetics.
Read: How Much Sleep Is Good For Health?
For most of us, sleeping only 5 or 6 hours is not a good idea. Research shows that sleep deprivation can affect your ability to communicate, solve problems, and remember information.
How much sleep is needed?
The amount of sleep needed sleep varies for each person.. Your body may feel fully rested after 8 hours, while your partner may need a solid 10 hours.
But for the average adult, the National Sleep Foundation recommends getting 7 or more hours of sleep each night to fully recover from the day's activities.
The following details the recommended length of sleep for each age group:
- adults 65 years: 7 to 8 hours
- adults 26 to 64: 7 to 9 hours
- adults 18 to 25: 7 to 9 hours
- youth: 8 to 10 hours
- school-age children: 9 to 11 hours
- preschoolers: 10 to 13 hours
- toddler: 11 to 14 hours
- baby: 12 to 15 hours
- newborn: 14 to 17 hours
How much sleep you need depends on your circadian rhythm — the internal clock that tells you when to fall asleep or wake up. Circadian rhythms depend on sleep chemicals, such as melatonin, and environmental cues, such as light and dark.
Signs you are sleep deprived
If you're sleep-deprived, you'll probably notice, because, well… *yawns*. According to a report by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, fatigue and excessive daytime sleepiness are good indicators of sleep deprivation.
Other symptoms of sleep deprivation include:
- inability to concentrate
- memory problem
- lack of physical strength
- decreased ability to fight infection
- hallucinations (in extreme cases)
If you experience any of these symptoms, you should contact the nearest doctor.
Health risks due to lack sleep
You may be a #mature queen but still, feel (and behave) like a big fussy toddler if you can barely sleep. Here are some of the unpleasant side effects of sleep deprivation:
- lack of motivation
- low sex drive
- Physical symptoms
Lack of sleep can hurt your skin. Research shows sleep deprivation can cause the skin to age more quickly and can slow skin recovery.
It can even hurt people's perception of you. That face mask won't do much if you're sleep-deprived.
Side effects of lack of sleep on the physical include:
- puffy eyes
- dark circle
- fine lines
- Cognitive function
If you think not getting enough sleep improves brain performance, you should know what's going on.
Lack of sleep affects your cognitive performance — that is, how well your brain works. A 2007 analysis of sleep deprivation studies found that sleep deprivation can affect decision making, attention, and long-term memory.
Cognitive side effects include:
- delayed reaction time
- increased distraction
- reduced energy
- decreased coordination
- bad decision making
- error improvement
It may seem like NBD, but consider how this side effect can affect public safety.
Although we often attribute events such as car accidents or train accidents to human error, researchers have warned that sleep deprivation and its side effects, such as decreased alertness, are worth paying attention to.
Lack of sleep also has an impact on health. In a global sample of more than 10,000 people, the researchers concluded that, in terms of brain function, sleeping less than 4 hours is equivalent to adding 8 years of age.
Your immune system repairs itself during sleep, and without enough sleep, your body cannot protect itself from disease.
Some of the serious health problems that can accompany sleep deprivation are:
- High blood pressure
- Your blood pressure drops while you sleep (this is called night swimming), and it's good for your heart health. Likewise, habitual sleep deprivation is associated with high blood pressure, especially among middle-aged people.
An analysis of 15 studies found that short sleep duration was associated with a greater risk of developing or dying from coronary heart disease or stroke.
A 2011 analysis of about 50 studies found an association between less than 6 hours of sleep a night and an increased risk of obesity. This is the effect of lack of sleep that increases the body's hunger hormone, ghrelin.
You may have heard of cortisol, the stress hormone. One review of studies on sleep deprivation and the endocrine system (which is responsible for regulating your hormones) found that cortisol can increase when you don't get enough sleep.
This could be the result of stress from not getting to sleep or from being too busy the next day.
A 2005 study of people over 50 found that those who slept less than 6 hours a night were more likely to develop diabetes than those who slept 7 to 9 hours, even though the levels of physical activity in the two groups were similar.
Lack of sleep can change how the neurotransmitters in your brain work. In a 2008 study, mice that were only allowed 4 hours of sleep per day (poor rats!) experienced changes in neurotransmitter activity similar to those seen in human depression.
And mice aren't the only ones suffering from depression: Research shows that sleep-deprived medical residents also have symptoms of depression.
The benefits of adequate sleep for health
Adequate sleep has enormous benefits for your mental and physical health. Here's what you can expect when you start sleeping more:
- Better mood: Getting enough sleep improves your overall mood (although you probably know this already).
- Improved motor skills: Is klutziness a problem for you? A small 2002 study found that getting enough sleep increased participants' motor speed by 20 percent without decreasing accuracy.
- Better athletic performance: Research shows that getting enough sleep and maintaining a bedtime routine can have positive effects for elite athletes. Why not you too?
- Younger-looking skin: Lack of sleep disrupts your skin barrier, aka the outermost layer of skin.
- Tips for sleeping faster
Resting around bedtime will help you fall asleep faster and sleep better. These efforts to improve sleep routines are sometimes called sleep hygiene.
The National Sleep Foundation recommends:
- try some gentle yoga poses
- limiting exposure to blue light from your phone, tablet or laptop
- skip caffeine and alcohol at night
- early dinner at night
- using a calming scent, such as lavender or chamomile essential oil, in a diffuser
- use a white noise machine, fan, soothing music, or earplugs to adjust the sound
- update mattresses, bedding, blankets or pillows
- set room temperature
- Embrace the darkness by covering the lights from the electronics and investing in blackout curtains
Sleep is very important and affects every aspect of your health. Try to get 7 to 8 hours of sleep every night.
For most people, getting 5 to 6 hours is not enough. If you stay up late every now and then, you can still cope with the bad effects. Just don't do it every night.