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Is 4 Hours of Sleep Enough?

Is-4-Hours-of-Sleep-Enough
Last Updated on July 9, 2020 by Ashwini G

Sleep affects productivity, health, creativity, beauty, and weight. Every aspect of your mind, body, and health are directly in tune with the quality and quantity of sleep.

The benefits of sleep are too numerous and significant to be ignored. So how much sleep do you really require? This article will explore that question.

Minimum Sleep Required

Research cannot predict the exact number of hours required by a body but it gives you a general rule of thumb. The prominent deciding factors are:

  • Age
  • Lifestyle
  • Health

On average, about one-third of your entire lives is spent sleeping. As per the National Sleep Foundation, this translates to about 8 to 9 hours of sleep for an adult. Other factors that play an important role include:

  • Sleep quality and pattern
  • Aging
  • External factors like noise, mattress and eating pattern

The Sleep Cycle

As per Sleep Council, the sleep cycle is divided into:

  • Non-rapid eye movement (NREM)
  • Rapid eye movement (REM)

You initially enter the NREM stage which progressively deepens into NREM 1, 2 and 3. Thereafter it’s the REM stage where you dream. To be fully rested you need to experience all the 4 stages of sleep.

The Debate on Quality and Quantity

Sleep quantity refers to the number of sleep hours and quality is how well you actually slept. Sleep Foundation defines good sleep quality as:

  • Falling asleep within 30 minutes of shutting eyes.
  • Continue sleeping throughout the night.
  • Drift back to sleep within 20 minutes in case you do wake up.

Poor quality sleep involves:

  • Trouble falling asleep
  • Frequent waking at nights
  • Restlessness.
  • Early awakenings.

Even 6 hours of quality sleep is better than 9 to 10 hours of bad sleep. It’s both quantity and quality that you want to aim for.

Facts Recounted

There are so many myths and facts about sleep. You can easily get confused with all that information.  Below are some real facts to help you:

  • Even one hour of sleep loss will eventually add up
  • Quantity cannot make up for the quality of sleep
  • You cannot catch up on lost sleep during the week by sleeping extra on weekends

Warning Signs and Ultimate Effects to Look Out For

When you are not getting enough sleep your body will constantly remind you of it. Below are the signs to pay attention to:

  • Restlessness and mood swings
  • Fatigue and lethargy
  • Lack of concentration and sluggishness
  • Skin aging and dark circles
  • Weight gain and frequent illnesses

Chronic Sleep Deprivation

Losing sleep hours systematically over a period causes chronic sleep deprivation. Sleep disorders are generally overlooked and underemphasized.

You need to prioritize sleep to be able to function optimally in mind, body, and soul. Chronic sleep loss is not a symptom nor characterized as a disorder. Though it is now increasingly accepted as a prominent public health problem causing neurological, medical, and psychiatric troubles as per Harvard research.

Easy Steps to Get the Snooze You Need

Getting the much-needed quality sleep hours is not that difficult. Below are a few simple tips to follow:

  • Maintain a regular sleep schedule
  • Exercise regularly
  • Stress management
  • Improved sleep environment
  • Better eating habits

In this era of fast life and even faster thinking don’t overlook the importance of sleep if you want to live a hale hearty and healthy life.

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