If you are one of many that feel lucky to get about six hours of sleep every night, you may be surprised to learn that you just might need to sleep more than that. A study has shown that sleep-deprivation is a real problem for many people – even if they think they feel fine and dandy the next day.
What Happens When We Get Less Than The Recommended 7-8 Hours of Sleep Every Night?
The short answer: Nothing good. While you might think everything is fine and dandy after a good 6 hours of sleep a night, it really isn’t.
In fact, researchers say it is actually just like getting no sleep at all.
How Can That Be, You Ask?
After all, chances are you are plugging along everyday just like always, right? You get up like you always do, and make it through the day just like you always do. Simple, say researchers. We are in denial when it comes to not getting enough sleep. Apparently that is how we cope.
So How Did This Study Work?
The study lasted 14 days. During that time, participants were divided into 4 groups. One group slept 8 hours a night, one slept 6 hours nightly, and one that slept only 4 hours at night. They were only allowed to sleep at night – no napping during the day, in other words!
The people in the unlucky 4th group were not allowed to sleep for 3 days.
Researchers tested their cognitive functions every two hours. The group that slept for eight hours performed the highest. And the group that slept for six hours did okay – until day 10 of the two-week study.
Turns out that by day 10, the six-hour a night sleepers were performing just like the people who had no sleep.
So even though you may feel like you are doing just fine on your six hours of sleep every night, your body and mind might just disagree with you.
The National Sleep Foundation (NSF), recently issued new sleep recommendations for adults and children. According to NSF, Adults aged 26-64 need to sleep between 7-9 hours every night, while school aged children should now be getting 9-11 hours sleep at night.
Getting enough sleep can help you from getting sick, make periods less painful, and help you lose weight. We really do feel better, have more patience and tend to be much more positive as we make our way through another day. Want more reasons why we need to sleep more than six hours every night? Cosmopolitan has 15 ways more sleep is a good thing for us all.
And if you like a bed-time snack before heading to bed, here are some sleep-friendly snacks to try.