Are you in Sleep Debt? How Much Sleep Should you be Getting?
3 min reading time
3 min reading time
When it comes to diets and fitness routines, there’s something different out there for everyone. But when it comes to sleep, the prescription for optimal shut-eye is much more close to a “one size fits all” method.
The Sleep Health Foundation recommends that adults aged between 18-65 need seven to nine hours of sleep per night to promote optimal health and well-being. Any less than seven hours could be associated with an increased risk of developing chronic conditions such as obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, and frequent mental distress.
This means that, ideally, you spend roughly one-third of your life asleep!
So why is seven to nine hours the magic number for sleep? In 2003, David Dinges and Gregory Belenky, both sleep researchers in the U.S., performed studies to determine the consequences of sleep deprivation. Their goal was to figure out how little sleep a person could get away with having without it affecting their cognitive performance.
The studies found that when comparing cognitive performance between a night of eight hours of sleep to a night of six hours of sleep, after just 10 days, the participants that slept six hours each night were as cognitively impaired as participants who suffered from one night of total sleep deprivation.
Even worse, the participants who only got four hours of sleep per night over the course of the study reached that same level of impairment in only three days. By 10 days, they were as cognitively impaired as if they had gone two days with no sleep!
For some of us, getting the recommended number of hours of sleep per night is unheard of. In fact, according to data from YouGov, one in three (32%) Australians are considered in “sleep debt” and do not get the recommended seven to nine hours of sleep per night. Their research also found that more than eight in ten (or 85% of) Australians wake up at least once a night, while the remaining 15% sleep through. Similarly in New Zealand, a study by Sovereign found that more than a third (35%) of Kiwis reported not getting enough sleep, or that the quality of their sleep was compromised.
There are many different factors that can contribute to poor or lack of sleep. These can include:
Although everyone is different, getting more quality sleep may start with simply understanding your sleep habits and choosing the right routine for your lifestyle.
Follow us on social media @backtosleepaustralia to keep up with our sleep tips
Content source // ahbeard.com