< Back to all Blogs

Is 6 hours of sleep enough?

Sleep Science
October 25, 2022

In today’s fast-paced world, the quest to squeeze more hours into the day can often lead to cutting back on sleep. Many people wonder if they can get by on just six hours of sleep and still function effectively. While individual sleep needs vary, understanding the right amount of sleep that leaves you feeling your best is key.

The Science Behind Sleep Needs

We all have times where we sleep better or worse depending on what’s happening in our lives and the environment around us.

Everybody’s sleep is different and how much is needed varies from person to person. However, most adults need between 7 to 9 hours to feel their best. 

Sleep is a critical biological process during which the body and brain undergo repair and rejuvenation. It affects nearly every type of system in the body and helps us process memories and emotions.

The stages of sleep

When we sleep, we cycle through different phases of sleep over the course of a night. 

Below you can see what happens in each stage of sleep:

• Core sleep: You typically spend about half of your night in core sleep, also known as light sleep or NREM 1 and 2. It’s thought to be an important stage for memory formation. When you enter core sleep, your body relaxes and your temperature drops.

• Deep sleep: Deep sleep is important for processing memories and emotions, as well as for growth and repair of the body. It is typical to have more periods of deep sleep during the first half of your night.

REM stands: REM stands for Rapid Eye Movement and is sometimes called “dream sleep”. Your brain is almost as active as when you are awake. REM is important for memory and learning, and you typically have more REM during the second half of the night.

Awake: It is normal to wake up during the night. Some awakenings are so small that you won’t even remember them happening.  

What Happens When You Don't Get Enough Sleep?

  1. Cognitive function: Sleep deprivation can affect your attention span and memory.
  2. Emotional well-being: Sleep impacts mood and emotional resilience. Lack of sleep causes many people to experience irritability and mood swings.
  3. Physical health: Less sleep means your body has less time to repair itself and the immune system's efficacy is reduced.

Can You Adapt to Less Sleep?

While some people try to adapt to less sleep, it’s important to distinguish between coping and thriving. Short-term, you may feel like you’re managing just fine, but the long-term health effects can be subtle and insidious.

Tips for Better Sleep

If you find yourself stuck in a cycle of sleeping too little, consider the following tips to improve your sleep hygiene:

  • Consistency is key: Aim to go to bed and wake up at the same time.
  • Create a sleep-inducing environment: Ensure your bedroom is quiet, dark, and cool. Consider using blackout curtains, eye masks, and Sleepwave’s sleep aid sounds. 
  • Wind down: Establish a pre-sleep routine that helps you relax, such as reading, taking a warm bath, or mindful breathing. 
  • Limit TV screen time: Avoid overstimulation before bed. Although its tempting to watch your favorite TV show, try sticking to one episode per night.
  • Align your body clock with natural light: Exposure to morning light signals to your brain that it’s time to wake up and can promote sleepiness in the evening.

How Much Sleep Do I Need?

One of the best ways to work out how much sleep you need is by listening to your body and observing when you function at your best.

Sleepwave helps you keep track of your sleep and builds a picture of your patterns over time. Each morning you can rate your previous night's sleep and over time discover a routine that works for you.

Just like a balanced diet and regular exercise, getting the right amount of sleep is a foundational aspect of a healthy lifestyle.

Sleepwave icon

Try Sleepwave
tonight for free

Download Sleepwave on App Store
Download Sleepwave on Google Play
Sleepwave icon

82 Rivington Street

Download Sleepwave on App StoreDownload Sleepwave on Google Play
Copyright @ 2024 Reviva Softworks Ltd. All rights reserved
Tik Tok