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TOPIC: SLEEP - How much do we need?

SLEEP - How much do we need? 08 May 2016 23:37 #9754

  • janet.o
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One thing that I’m very interested in is how many hours we need to sleep per night, in order to function optimally. Of course one needs to define what is considered “optimal”, but I think most of us would agree that it would be a combination of our bodies and cognitive functions working properly, as well as feeling somewhat energized or at least NOT TIRED.

I have been reading many contrasting articles and they all manage to fight for whatever hours they’re stating is sufficient, as there are a lot of studies that have been made, so you can always find some sort of “evidence” to back the story up with regardless of how valid it really is.

After all the research I have found that it seems we only need about 5.5-6 hours, but the problem is that we LIKE TO SLEEP. A lot of people claim they absolutely need 8 hours of sleep per night, but the thing is that the body is very adaptable and learns certain behavior very well, which has been reflected in several studies where people have been restricted to around 5.5 hours of sleep, and reported that they feel tired, but as their body is used to that after a while, the tests made on them show that the result of reducing their sleep for a longer term hasn’t changed anything in particular when it comes to them functioning “optimally”.

The body is actually very smart – as it prolongs the restoration stages of our sleep, so we actually get the same amount of restoration – just in less time.

So this was a summary of my findings, it is of course much more complex than this with many nuances, but I would love to know if any of you have any feedback on how much you need to sleep, or if you have experienced anything regarding this topic!

Ps. Studies have shown that people who sleep less, live longer!
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SLEEP - How much do we need? 09 May 2016 11:23 #9759

  • sandra.r
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Hello, I find it hard to believe that the normal amount of sleep that we need is only 5-5 1/2 hours. Whenever I get that much sleep, I am extremely exhausted throughout the entire day. However, if I work out in the morning with that much amount of sleep, I am very alert and not "sluggish." Although, I do think that everyone should have at least 7 hours of sleep a day. That is just my personal preference. In regards to an all-nighter, depending on the amount of caffeine that I have had the night before, I am usually alert the following day... Sounds strange, but that is just how my body functions.
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SLEEP - How much do we need? 10 May 2016 20:27 #9770

  • Cassandra.B
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There seems to have been many studies conducted on this, but I feel like the answer of how much sleep we needs all depends on the person’s lifestyle (how much they work, how much they exercise, what/when/how much they eat, etc.). I think that the answer is different for everyone. Although, I can believe your findings that state that the body is able to adapt to having little sleep and can run on 5.5 hours of sleep. It is interesting that you found in your research that the body can get the same amount of restoration in less time. I know people who only sleep 3-4 hours a night and they say that they cannot sleep any longer and are fine with that amount of sleep. The body is incredible!
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SLEEP - How much do we need? 12 May 2016 18:48 #9776

  • Aram.A
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I feel as thought he proper answer from me end on this post would be, "what is sleep?" Being someone that has very little time to catch the slightest bit of rest drives me towards adaptation to the relevance of time. I tend to get approximately 4 hours of sleep and function normally as opposed to my peers who brag about lengthy sleep yet manage to show signs of alternate regard. Your post may be a bit biased on the aspect of how much sleep the individual needs, however, it definitely is a great post indeed. I don't think the question presented within your analysis is asked enough. What would be interesting would be the wavering difference between ages in regards to sleep. All in all, great post it was very insightful.
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SLEEP - How much do we need? 15 May 2016 12:19 #9784

  • Sarah.H
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I find this very interesting, I always wonder what is the right amount of sleep that would be enough for my body. I'm actually surprised to read that after your research you found out 5.5-6 hours of sleep is all we need. I always thought 7-8 hours is a good amount but i'm also just talking about myself, because I believe it depends on each individual and their lifestyle. I mean even for myself, depending on my day and how hectic or relaxing it was, I decide how much sleep i'll be needing to feel energetic the next day.
Moreover, I did notice that if I sleep more than I need, my body becomes lazy and the more I sleep the more I want to sleep. So I guess it's all about the 'right' perfect amount that your body needs.
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SLEEP - How much do we need? 15 May 2016 15:34 #9789

  • Eve.b
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Interesting topic to write on Janet because I myself am curious on how many hours we actually need to sleep. I agree that all studies say different answers, but overall you said that 5.5 hours are the average amount that needs to occur every night. The problem is true that we do like to sleep a lot and not do anything but lay in bed, but then I really liked when you said, “P.S. Studies have shown that people who sleep less, live longer”, because maybe that will influence those long sleepers to not sleep too long anymore.
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