Do You Really Need 8 Hours of Sleep?

Sleep is vital, but it also seems that more and more articles are focusing on ensuring the best and most optimal rest. People advertise new mattresses, special alarm clocks, pillows, supplements, and a number of other products to help you get the best sleep of your life. Do we even need 8 hours of sleep?

clock for sleeping 8 hours of sleep
8 hours of sleep is the average – source

We worry about so many things regarding sleep, from what position to sleep in, to the quality of sleep, and how long to sleep for. It makes sense, as sleeping too little may lead to worsened mental health, lowered immune system, or even a short lifespan. Keep reading to find out if you really need 8 hours of sleep or if that’s just a myth. Plus, instead of buying something, check out this simple hack to prep yourself for sleep as soon as you wake up.

The Benefits of Sleep

Without a doubt, it is important to get enough sleep. Sleeping helps improve the immune system as it provides essential support. This means you get less sick when you sleep enough. The body also undergoes important repairs when you sleep, including muscle synthesis.

Sleeping enough also reduces your risk for heart disease, reduces stress, and improves mood and concentration.

As you sleep, your body reduces the production of leptin, the hormone responsible for feeling full, meaning that sleep helps manage appetite and weight. Lack of sleep, on the other hand, causes your body to produce more ghrelin, the hunger hormone.

How Long Do You Need to Sleep

So, do you need 8 hours of sleep a night to be healthy?

Well, maybe.

7 to 8 hours is the average for adults. It is important to understand that naturally, some will need less rest, while others need more. Some need 8 while some feel well rested for 6 hours.

Plus, the rise of sleep tracking can cause people to stress out about not sleeping enough, which ironically does not let us sleep enough.

What to Do Instead of Tracking Sleep

Don’t worry too much about hours of sleep. Instead, ask yourself important questions throughout the day. 

  • Do I feel well-rested throughout the day?
  • Can I sleep through the night without waking up?
  • If I wake up, can I fall asleep easily?

If you answer yes to the questions above, you should be good to go with your current sleep! On the other hand, there might be an issue if you answer yes to the questions below: 

  • Do I feel the need to take a nap during the day?
  • Do I accidentally fall asleep during the day
  • Do I want to hit snooze in the morning?

If you continue to have issues, check out these evidence-based tips on sleeping, combating insomnia, and reducing the stress that inhibits sleep. Also, talk to your doctor to make sure there is no underlying condition, and check out the complete guide for sleep as recommended by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine.

Quick Tips for Sleep

Here are easy tips you can use to get the best rest of your life.

  • Try to limit electronics before bed – social media, short videos, and the light from your phone all indicate to your brain to be alert and focused, which reduces feelings of sleepiness.
  • Do not drink caffeine after 5 pm – caffeine stimulates the central nervous system and blocks specific brain receptors that control sleep.
  • Get enough light during the day – regulating exposure to light can allow you to feel more alert during the day and sleepier at night.
  • Work out – working out and exercising can help you feel sleepier at the end of the day

The Takeaway

Sleep is very important and getting a good night’s rest is important to wellbeing, but we don’t need to fixate on it to the point of stress. Some people just need fewer hours and will still feel well rested and alert.

Remember that health comes from within, so try to eat good, nutrient-dense meals to support healthy sleep patterns, work out daily, and take care of your mental health. Habits you cultivate will become the building blocks of your emotional, mental, and physical wellbeing.

Never forget about gut health as well for even more health benefits. The gut microbiome can even determine the health of your body and mind. Learn everything you need to know about gut microbiota today for free here!

Spread the love

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *