Do You Really Need 8 Hours of Sleep Every Night? The Truth is Actually Surprising
Sleep is arguably the biggest blessing in life, one that we just can’t get enough of. How many times do you press the snooze button on your alarm clock before finally parting from your beloved bed?
Let’s face it, no one really wants to leave the warmth of their mattress early in the morning, but if you’re waking up tired and groggy every day, you might be among millions of people who don’t get enough sleep.
The implications of poor sleep go way beyond your health. Australian research shows that sleep deprivation is costing the national economy over $66 billion every year. Sounds pretty serious, doesn’t it?
With so many researchers warning us about the consequences of poor sleep, you’ve got to wonder how much shut-eye time you actually need. The answer to this question may not be as clear as we hoped but with so many people complaining that they don’t get enough sleep, it’s time to dig a little deeper and find out exactly where they’re going wrong and how to fix it.
Clinical psychologists are all in agreement that we need at least 7.5 hours of uninterrupted sleep every night, in order to achieve five 90-minute sleep cycles. Some might argue that 6 hours of shut-eye time is more than enough for them to function normally but poor sleep can have long-term implications that accumulate over time, and affect our productivity and brainpower.
Just like oxygen, food, and water, sleep is one of our most basic human needs, without which, our survival would be highly unlikely. You need proper sleep not just for your mental performance but also for your physical and emotional well-being.
If you’re not sure that you’re getting enough sleep, watch out for clues like mood swings, brain fog, inability to think clearly, and an overall lack of energy — all of which are signs of not getting enough shut-eye.
If you suspect that your sleep cycle is slightly off-track, you must dig a little deeper to find out why you’re not catching enough ZZZs. It might be a direct result of having too much caffeine during the day or a less-than-ideal sleeping environment.
For a proper sleep set-up, make sure that your room is in complete darkness, and your smartphone and electronic devices switched to silent mode. If it helps, put your phone away when it’s time for bed so that your brain has enough time to switch off and the sleep hormone, melatonin, to kick in.
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