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Is 6 Hours of Sleep Enough to Get Me By?

If you’re getting under seven hours of sleep each night, you’re not alone. Around 35% of US adults sleep less than seven hours on average.

If you’re one of the many adults getting this much sleep, you may ask yourself, “Is 6 hours of sleep enough?” We’ll dive into this question and explain how you can improve the sleep you are getting. 

Is 6 Hours of Sleep Enough?

No, six hours of sleep is not enough. Even if you feel alright, you’re still not getting enough deep sleep that your body needs. This is because your body can’t properly move through the stages of sleep. At six hours, you could experience the negative impacts of sleep deprivation.

Related: 5 Ways to Alleviate Anxiety

What If It Feels Like Enough?

Sometimes, you might only get six or fewer hours of sleep but still feel refreshed when you wake up. Other times, you might sleep nine or ten hours and still feel groggy and tired when you get up. 

This isn’t necessarily due to how much sleep you get as much as your circadian rhythm. This internal clock regulates melatonin production to make you feel either tired or alert at certain times during the day. 

Even if six hours feels like enough, it doesn’t mean you’re not experiencing the effects of sleep deprivation. Through the renorming process, a person only compares how they feel each day with how they felt yesterday or the day before. This means you just get used to feeling poorly over time.

How Much Sleep Do You Need?

The universal recommendation is that adults need around eight hours of sleep each night. If you can’t get eight, at least seven is the minimum recommended. In fact, the CDC considers getting less than seven hours of sleep for adults as short sleep duration.

This recommendation is based on and considers that most people overestimate how much sleep they’re getting. People who sleep about six hours a night overestimate their sleep by about 48 minutes. Those who sleep more than six hours overestimate how much they slept by 30 minutes. Even if you think you’re getting about six hours of sleep, you’re probably only getting around five. This is much less than what is recommended to keep you feeling rested.

Other factors can change how much sleep you need. This includes your age, environment, and medical conditions, with age being the most important. Children and babies need much more sleep than adults.

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The Dangers of Not Getting Enough Sleep

While you might think feeling tired is the only downside of not getting enough sleep, the dangers are far worse than you may realize. It negatively impacts your mental processing. In fact, drowsy driving leads to around 1,550 deaths each year.

In a study, those who slept for eight hours tested the best on cognitive functioning and reaction time, while those who slept for four hours performed the worst. Those who slept for six hours tested well until day ten. After this, their performance was as bad as the four-hour group.

Interestingly, the six-hour group didn’t report needing any additional sleep despite not performing well. This means they thought the lack of sleep wasn’t taking its toll. 

Sleep Quantity vs. Sleep Quality

Sleep quantity and sleep quality are both important. While one bad night’s sleep for either reason can have a negative impact, you need both to be good to have the best outcomes. 

This also means that you can try to improve both. Even if you can’t get more hours of sleep, you can try to improve the quality of your sleep. 

How to Get Better Sleep

Taking steps to get better sleep can help you improve both the quantity and quality of your sleep.

Set a Sleep Schedule

Setting and sticking to a sleep schedule is a great way to ensure you fall asleep when you want to and feel rested when you wake up. Figure out when you need to wake up each morning and work backward to see when to go to bed.

Then, go to bed and wake up at the same time every day, including weekends. At most, give yourself an extra hour on days you can sleep in, but no more.

Another important part is to avoid taking naps at irregular times or napping too much. Make sure your naps aren’t longer than 30 minutes, and don’t interrupt your sleep schedule.

Get Regular Exercise

Sleep and exercise are interlinked. Regular exercise can help improve your sleep, while getting enough good sleep can improve your performance.

While exercise is beneficial, make sure that you don’t exert yourself close to bedtime, as it can keep you up. Do any high-intensity workouts during the day.

Related: Boost Your Workout: The Benefits of CBD Before Exercise

Avoid Screens

Devices with screens produce blue light that suppresses your body’s melatonin production. Since this hormone tells your body it needs to sleep, using screens can make it harder to fall asleep. To prevent this, try to avoid screens for two to three hours before bedtime, with 30 minutes being the absolute cut-off.

Manage Stress

Many people have difficulty falling asleep at night as their thoughts and anxieties pop up when they try to rest. Writing down your thoughts can be a great way to get them off their mind.

However, finding other ways to manage or reduce stress is also important. You can try deep breathing, meditation, and therapy

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Many people enjoy taking CBD for its relaxing effects. It can help you drift off to dreamland without the tossing and turning. If you are thinking about using this product, make sure to purchase it from a high-quality and reputable source.

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Make Sure You Get Enough Sleep

Getting six hours of sleep is not enough. Aim for at least seven to eight hours of high-quality sleep each night to feel your best. With a little bit of work, you can take steps to make sure you’re getting the sleep quality and quantity you need.

Related: How To Use CBD For Pain

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