What's the right amount of sleep for me?
There are those who insist that getting 8 hours of sleep is essential to health and wellbeing, while others say that 5 hours of sleep is enough. So how much, or how little time sleeping do you need in order to have got a good night's sleep? Search online for the question 'Is 5 hours of sleep ok?' and you'll find lots of advice, much of it convincing and lots of it conflicting, so what's the right answer?
There may be no single right answer
The need for a specific amount of sleep differs from person to person, there are lots of factors which influence the optimum level of shut-eye for each individual and the quality of the sleep is just as important as its duration.
One thing that nearly everyone agrees on it that not getting enough sleep can have a negative effect on concentration, injury recovery, patience, energy levels, physical performance, immune function and a whole host of physical and mental detriments. But how do you determine what's 'enough' sleep for you?
Is 5 hours of sleep enough?
The short answer is 'probably not'. Ask yourself if, after 5 hours of sleep, do you wake up feeling refreshed, relaxed and energised? If not, then 5 hours of sleep may not be enough for you. Ask yourself;
- Do you regularly only manage to get through the day with the aid of caffeine?
- Do you usually use negative words to describe your mood?
- Do you spend the day feeling tired and lethargic?
- Do you struggle to lose weight?
- Do you always catch any bugs that are going round?
If this is the case, then perhaps however much sleep you're getting may not be enough for you personally.
Why do some people need less sleep?
While it's true that some people can say that they only need four, five or six hours of sleep a night, perhaps even less, it may not necessarily be true. There are certain conditions which do indeed mean that an individual can be fully recharged by less sleep than most people, however, in most cases, when someone says "I only need 5 hours of sleep", what they really mean is that they 'get' 5 hours of sleep. Essentially, they've built up the habit of only getting 5 hours of sleep to the point where this feels normal. Chances are that they, like most of the rest of us, need more than they're getting, but are confusing habit with need.
What if I still feel tired after 8 hours sleep?
As mentioned earlier, the quality of sleep is as important as the amount of sleep you get a night. If you're still feeling tired, then perhaps the quality of sleep you're getting should be looked at closer. Also bear in mind that going to bed at 10pm and getting up at 6am just means you spent 8 hours in bed, that's not the same as 8 hours of sleep. If you've ever worn a fitness tracker which monitors sleep, you might be surprised at how little sleep you get as opposed to the amount of time you spend in bed. Some brands also differentiate between light sleep, deep sleep and R.E.M. sleep as well as monitoring the number of times you briefly wake up during the night and overall restlessness.
If you find that the quality of your sleep isn't allowing you to fully recharge overnight, then there are a number of factors to consider to help you get the most out of the time you spend in bed. Chief amongst those is the bed itself.
If your bed is old, uncomfortable, unsupportive or unsuitable, chances are that you're not going to be able to fully relax and the quality of your sleep won't be as good as it could be.
At Longbeds, we specialise in beds which come in a variety of shapes sizes and styles, all of them supportive and comfortable. Give yourself the best chance of getting a quality nights sleep, waking relaxed and recharged by investing in a quality bed to help you get the most out however long you spend there.