When it comes to getting enough sleep, we have a tendency to try to cut corners. Getting enough sleep for seven or eight hours may sound like fun, but it rarely seems like we have time. According to the National Sleep Foundation, older adults should get enough sleep for 7-9 hours each night. This recommendation has become quite common among teenagers, and preschoolers. Despite this advice, 45% of Americans say that little or no sleep affects their daily lives at least once a week.
Getting a good night’s sleep is not easy, but it is important. Let’s break down the sheets to learn more about sleep, why just 6 hours of sleep is not enough, and what we can do to make sure we get the shuteye hours we need.
Foundations for Sleep
There are four main categories of sleep that we need to be aware of, and collectively refer to these stages as the sleep cycle.
The first stage is the simplest phase of sleep and is accompanied by slow eye movement or NREM. During this phase of sleep drowsiness, your eyes will move slowly under your eyelids and you can be easily awakened. Your muscles will relax and your brain will begin to slow down as your body prepares for more relaxation and deep sleep.
The second stage of sleep is the first phase of rapid eye sleep (REM). You cannot be easily awakened by this stage of sleep, and your brain will continue to slow down as a result of a brain activity called sleep spindles. Studies show that sleep apnea protects the brain from waking up during sleep.
The third stage of sleep is known as deep NREM sleep. This is a very stimulating sleep phase and is marked by slow-moving waves in the brain. Suddenly waking up at this stage of sleep is rare, and sleep events such as sleep and sleep talking happen during this stage.
The fourth and final stage of sleep is known as REM sleep, and this is where dreams come true. Your eyes will look back and forth, and your brain waves will be more active at this stage of sleep than at two or three stages. If you wake up from REM sleep, there is an increased risk of feeling embarrassed or drowsy the next day.
Ensuring that you reach these four stages of the sleep cycle is very important. One sleep cycle, which will include all four sleep stages, usually lasts about 100-120 minutes and will change with four or five full cycles per night.
Children should sleep 9 to 11 hours on average, but 7 to 8 hours are also acceptable. Children should not sleep less than 7 hours a day.
Young adults should sleep 7 to 9 hours a day, but 6 hours is also worth a pinch. They should not get less than six hours of sleep a day.
Adults should sleep 7 to 9 hours a day, or six to ten hours still. Like young adults, adults should not get enough sleep for less than six hours a day.
Older adults should get at least 7 to 8 hours of sleep a night, although five to six hours is appropriate for their age. They should not, however, sleep less than five hours of sleep.
Is 6 Hours Sleep Good for You?
While 6 hours of sleep is not enough for most of us, there are signs you can look for to see if six hours of sleep is not enough. For example, yawning, fatigue, and irritability are signs that you are not getting enough sleep.
Other symptoms of fatigue or insomnia include lack of motivation, carelessness, and increased appetite. If you sleep for six hours or less each night while having these symptoms, you will need to increase the amount of sleep that you will show the night recommendations for your age, or you will need ways to improve your sleep quality.
Why Not Get Your Sleep?
Sleep deprivation or sleep apnea can be caused by a number of factors. From taking a nap to eating caffeine before bed, sleep problems are widespread. Below you will find common reasons why people do not get enough sleep.
Stimulants such as caffeine, alcohol, and even sleeping pills can interfere with your ability to sleep and sleep. While things like alcohol can stimulate sleep, in fact, your sleep will be much more relaxed. On the other hand, sleeping pills are good for occasional use but this has little effect over time, and you may have to rely on them to fall asleep.
Those who work shift shifts have a much harder time doing a regular sleep pattern. While some are more accustomed to these changes than others, the task of switching can affect your circadian rhythm and significantly reduce the amount of sleep you should be getting.
Eating and drinking late
While eating before bed will not directly affect the quality of your sleep, it can cause heartburn or chest pains that can keep you awake at night. As a result, it is best to avoid any snacks at night before going to bed. If you are hungry, eat a little and drink a glass of water. Studies show that bedtime liquid can help.
Depression keeps us at night and disrupts our sleep. But our mental health is important, and we deserve a good night’s sleep without waking up in the middle of the night. Give yourself time to rest and relax before going to bed if stress is preventing you from getting a good night’s sleep, or talk to your doctor to find ways to deal with stress.
Sleep disorders are one of the most common causes of insomnia. Sleep apnea, nightmares, insomnia, and more can affect our sleep patterns for days or even years at a time. If you have a sleep disorder that prevents you from getting a good night’s sleep, consider talking to your doctor to decide what you can do to get back to bed.
Can you survive on 6 hours of sleep?
Young adults can get 7 to 9 hours of sleep as recommended by the National Sleep Foundation — with 6 hours being appropriate. Less than 6 hours is not recommended.
Is 6 hours of sleep bad?
They found that people who slept six hours on average were up to 59 percent more likely to be dehydrated than adults who slept eight hours on a regular basis at night. This suggests that feeling awful after a poor night of sleep may also be attributed to this resulting dehydration, not just to a lack of sleep.
Is 6 hours sleep enough NHS?
Most adults need between 6 and 9 hours of sleep every night. By working out what time you need to wake up, you can set a regular bedtime schedule. It is also important to try and wake up at the same time every day.
What happens if you only get 6 hours of sleep?
You're three times more likely to be involved in a car accident if you get 6 or fewer hours of sleep each night, according to the National Sleep Foundation.