You were probably taught from day one that you needed to get eight hours of sleep every night in order to be healthy, wealthy, and wise. Have you ever questioned whether this is true? Some people swear that they only need four, five, or six hours, stating that they simply can’t keep their eyes shut any longer than that. So, is the amount of sleep a person gets actually a personal preference rather than a biological need? Read on to decide for yourself.
7 to 9 Hours
There are some studies that indicate that seven is the magic number for optimum sleep rather than eight. Other researchers seem to think nine is closer to the ideal, and then there are the researchers who say the exact number depends on the individual, and that the gold standard of eight is too arbitrary. So far:
- There’s not a broad consensus yet.
- Most recommendations lie somewhere in the middle of the seven to nine range.
Too Much Sleep
A certain amount of sleep is healthy and required for optimum functioning, but that doesn’t mean the more sleep, the better. In fact, too much shut-eye can result in an assortment of health ills, just like too little. For example, sleeping too much each night can lead to:
- Heart disease
- Higher mortality rates
Too Little Sleep
While the number of hours of sleep may depend on personal preference to a certain degree, going too far under the gold standard of eight can cause a slew of troubles. When you don’t doze enough, over time it can damage your mental, physical, and emotional health. Some of the damaging side effects of sleepless nights include:
- Accidents at work occur more frequently in sleepy workers.
- Blurry-eyed motorists crash their cars more often than rested drivers.
- Critical thinking skills and cognitive abilities are impaired with too few z’s.
- Sex lives suffer in both men and women who are exhausted from not enough sleep.
- Chronically sleep-deprived individuals end up with heart problems such as high blood pressure, irregular heartbeats, heart attacks, and strokes.
- Insomniacs can develop diabetes after a stretch of too little shut-eye.
- Bodies heal during sleep, so without enough of it, immune functioning slows down.
4 to 6 Hours
Most people know individuals who swear they only sleep four or five hours each night and can function at high capacity. While it is true that studies show that the amount of sleep a person needs is somewhat related to their genetic makeup, four to six hours is simply not enough, especially after a prolonged period of time. Researchers studied people who only slept four to six hours and found:
- The individuals who only slept four hours for long periods of time were so tired that they fell asleep during the questioning sessions.
- The people who consistently slept only six hours were as impaired as individuals who had consumed significant amounts of alcohol.
So, in conclusion, the ideal amount of sleep you require can vary depending on your genetic makeup and personal preferences, but the target goal seems to be in the seven-to-nine hour range. Any more or less than that span of time can lead to a laundry list of health problems and an overall decreased quality of life. Mattresses play a large role in your quality of sleep. Find your next Mattress at 1800Mattress.com.