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Is 4 Hours Sleep Better Than None

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Getting Through The Day After Little To No Sleep

How Much Sleep Do You Actually Need?

Whether you enjoy a power nap or dont sleep at all, youre still going to feel exhausted the next day. To make things a bit more bearable, heres our best advice for feeling energized after a night of little to no sleep.

  • When your alarm goes off, get out of bed, turn on the lights, and open the curtains. Bright light, even if its artificial, will help wake you up.
  • Real sunlight is even better. If you can, go outside and spend some time in the morning sunlight. For an extra energy boost, exercise. Even a brisk walk will activate your body and mind.
  • Throughout the day, eat during your normal meal times to help your sleep schedule stay on track.
  • Avoid overly sugary or fatty foods. Youll be craving them , but youll be less equipped than ever to recover from the sugar crash.
  • Indulge in caffeine early in the morning. Dont overdo it, though, and cut yourself off in the early afternoon. You dont want to end up so wired that you experience another sleepless night.
  • If youre absolutely exhausted, enjoy another power nap. You might even make it a coffee nap. Again, limit yourself to 30 minutes tops to avoid entering deep sleep.

Also, expect to feel less than great for the days following your all-nighter. The idea of catching up on sleep is a myth.

Are There Different Types Of Sleep Deprivation

Sleep deprivation and sleep insufficiency may be categorized in different ways depending on a persons circumstances.

  • Acute sleep deprivation refers to a short period, usually a few days or less, when a person has a significant reduction in their sleep time.
  • Chronic sleep deprivation, also known as insufficient sleep syndrome, is defined by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine as curtailed sleep that persists for three months or longer.
  • Chronic sleep deficiency or insufficient sleep can describe ongoing sleep deprivation as well as poor sleep that occurs because of sleep fragmentation or other disruptions.

Keep Your Brain Stimulated

If youre wondering how to stay awake, youll definitely want to keep your brain moving with some mental exercise. Engaging in something interesting to do or talk about can stimulate your mind to feel more awake, Dr. Shane says. Simply having a conversation can ramp up your cognitive processes and make you forget youre tired. Or, focusing your mind on an engaging taskeither a work project youre excited about, or a mental break like a crossword puzzle or gamecan help keep you alert. Interestingly, we tend to be more creative when were tired because our ideas are not as focused, according to a study published in the Journal of Thinking and Reasoning. So take advantage to write, draw, or solve some brain twisters.

Putting Drowsy Driving In Perspective

Does this mean that it is safe to drive if you sleep for only two hours? The answer to this question is an emphatic no. Most people will still be impaired from sleep deficiency even if they sleep for more than twice this amount. As stated by the chair of the panel, Dr. Charles Czeisler, chief of the Division of Sleep and Circadian Disorders at Harvard-affiliated Brigham and Womens Hospital and the Baldino Professor of Sleep Medicine at Harvard Medical School, the two-hour threshold should serve as a red-flag warning for individuals and a guide for public policy makers. In other words, in the development of future legal statutes such as Maggies Law, it should be the absolute lower limit used to define drowsy driving, similar to the way driving under the influence is defined as a blood alcohol content greater than .08%.

Are there ways to reduce the impact of sleep deficiency on driving performance? Stimulants such as caffeine can certainly reduce sleepiness for a short period of time, but not indefinitely. Other commonly employed methods have been shown to be ineffective. For example, turning up the volume on the radio and opening the car window are both useless. Furthermore, even if you do not feel sleepy, you may still be impaired because there is a poor correlation between sleepiness and performance. Only sleep can reverse the impact of sleep deficiency!

What Happens When We Only Get 6 Hours Of Sleep

Below Ive collated a list of things that happen when we dont sleep. It doesnt make for fun reading, but its important to know what were missing out on when were pushing ourselves to burn the candle at both ends. And given what sleep scientists have found, you may not even recognize that youre suffering from these right now!


Make Sleep A Priority

Chronic insufficient sleep often occurs when people choose to sacrifice sleep in favor of work, leisure, or other obligations. To counteract this, its critical to take steps to make sleep a priority:

  • Have a consistent sleep schedule: You should strive to go to bed and wake up at the same times every day. In planning those times, make sure to budget time to get enough sleep. Once youve settled on your schedule, follow it closely, even on weekends. Stability in your sleep routine helps avoid fluctuations in your nightly sleep.
  • Set boundaries in your work and social life: Its easy for the demands of your personal or professional life to chip away at your dedicated time for sleep, so its helpful to set boundaries so that you preserve the full time you need for rest each night.
  • Have a bedtime routine: Get yourself ready each night with the same steps such as quietly reading or stretching, putting on pajamas, and brushing your teeth. A steady bedtime routine can put you in the right frame of mind to sleep well each night.

Address Sleep Deprivation Dont Cope With It

Many people get insufficient sleep because they accept sleep deprivation as normal. Rather than take the necessary steps to sleep more, they drink caffeine or energy drinks, nap, or simply try to power through.

None of these approaches is a sustainable solution to sleep deprivation. They may help get through the day, but the cumulative effects of sleep deficiency will still take a toll both in the short- and long-term.

For this reason, it is important to refuse to accept a lack of sleep as normal and instead focus on sleeping more and getting higher quality rest.

How To Sleep Less And Have More Energy

Chronically cutting your sleep short isnt a good idea, but life gets busy and sometimes sleeping adequately isnt possible for a few nights. The more nights you limit your sleep, the more sleep debt youll rack up. As with financial debt, the more sleep debt you have, the harder it is to pay it off.

Theres no magic way to increase your energy while cutting your sleep. However, the following techniques may help you get through short-term periods of sleep deprivation.

How Your Sleep Cycle Works

I Can’t Sleep for More Than 4 Hours a Night – Why? | This Morning

When you sleep, you cycle through different stages of sleep, from light sleep to deep sleep to REM and back again. Your sleep cycle refers to your progression through those different stages of sleep, and it changes throughout the night. In the first half of the night, you spend more time in light and deep sleep. As the night goes on, the REM portion of each sleep cycle increases. All in, we complete 4 to 5 sleep cycles a night.

Your first sleep cycle takes about 90 minutes. If you only sleep for an hour, youll cut that cycle short. Worse, youll probably wake up during deep sleep. Deep sleep, as you might guess from the name, is the restorative stage of sleep during which youre deeply asleep. Your brain waves are at their slowest during deep sleep. If youve ever woken up extremely groggy, its likely your alarm went off while you were in deep sleep.

Is 6 Hours Of Sleep Enough 10 Answers Backed By Science

I get by just fine on 6 hours sleep a night

is one of the biggest lies told by people today.

We see it everywhere. From ambitious friends to business leaders just about everyone seems to think they dont need a full nights rest.

Supposedly, President Trump gets by on just 4-5 hours, while famed entrepreneur Elon Musk spends 120 hours a week working tweeting at 2.32am that sleep is not an option.

Maybe all of these people are blessed with not needing sleep. Granted, its true that some lucky people dont feel as much of the effects of not sleeping. However, that number is 1 in 12,000 people who only need 6 hours.

That is less than 0.01% of the population who dont need 8 hours of sleep every night. 

If you think about all of the people youve ever met in your life, maybe one of them is in this category. It is super rare.

So why do so many people believe they have this super power? I dont know about you, but at least 1 in 5 people I know are convinced theyre doing just fine on 6 hours sleep.

This might be because of developing a new baseline. In other words you do not know how sleep-deprived you are when you are sleep deprived. As the renowned sleep scientist Matthew Walker writes in his book

With chronic sleep restriction over months or years, an individual will actually acclimate to their impaired performance, lower alertness, and reduced energy levels. That low-level exhaustion becomes their accepted norm, or baseline.

Sleep Experts Close In On The Optimal Night’s Sleep

How much sleep do you really need?

Experts generally recommend seven to nine hours a night for healthy adults. Sleep scientists say new guidelines are needed to take into account an abundance of recent research in the field and to reflect that Americans are on average sleeping less than they did in the past.

Several sleep studies have found that seven hours is the optimal amount of sleepnot eight, as was long believedwhen it comes to certain cognitive and health markers, although many doctors question that conclusion.

Other recent research has shown that skimping on a full night’s sleep, even by 20 minutes, impairs performance and memory the next day. And getting too much sleepnot just too little of itis associated with health problems including diabetes, obesity and cardiovascular disease and with higher rates of death, studies show.

“The lowest mortality and morbidity is with seven hours,” said Shawn Youngstedt, a professor in the College of Nursing and Health Innovation at Arizona State University Phoenix. “Eight hours or more has consistently been shown to be hazardous,” says Dr. Youngstedt, who researches the effects of oversleeping.

What Is Sleep Deprivation

Try telling a friend or colleague you werent able to sleep well last night. How did they respond? With a knowing nod? With their own sleepless story?

Unfortunately, these days, not getting enough sleep is nothing new. Commonly referred to by the term sleep deprivation, there is no exact measure for what constitutes a lack of sleep. Basically, someone is considered sleep deprived when they get less sleep than what they need to function normally.

Of course, sleep needs vary from person to person. Toddlers need 11 to 14 hours of sleep each night, pre-teens and teenagers need 9 to 10, and adults require 7 to 9 hours. The amount of sleep you need is also determined by factors like activity levels and genetics.

So rather than basing sleep deprivation on a specific number of hours or days, it is best to look out for these symptoms:

  • Fatigue and sleepiness during the day
  • Difficulty concentrating and recalling information
  • Reduced coordination
  • Increased appetite
  • Feelings of irritability and anxiety
  • Mood swings

Avoid Things That Can Interfere With Sleep

A useful step in addressing sleep deprivation is to avoid things that can, often unbeknownst to you, negatively affect your sleep:

  • Electronic devices: TVs, cell phones, tablets, and computers can keep your mind stimulated, leaving you still wired when you want to go to bed. The light emitted by these devices can also interfere with your circadian rhythm. As a result, its best to avoid using electronic devices for an hour or more before bed.
  • Alcohol: Drinking, especially at night, can disrupt your normal sleep cycle, reducing overall sleep quality and consistency.
  • Caffeine: As a stimulant, caffeine makes you alert, and because it can stick around in your system for several hours, its best to avoid it in the afternoon and evening.
  • Naps: To keep naps from interfering with sleep at night, keep them short and never take them in the late afternoon or later. If you are struggling with insomnia, its best to avoid naps altogether.

No Driving Policy When Tired

While fans of the Everyman method do report an increase of energy, they have also been known to experience deeper feelings of exhaustion just before nap times. These sleepers may become so tired that they are slightly delirious and have trouble handling ordinary tasks before taking their 20-minute nap.

For this reason, it is very important that you do not operate a motor vehicle when you are feeling less than fully awake. Adhere to a strict policy that forbids you from driving when you are likely to experience these exhausted states to ensure your personal safety and the safety of others.

I Am Here To Challenge Everything You Thought You Knew About Sleep

Ive always needed a lot of sleep. A week before doing this experiment I tried buying myself more time by sleeping just six hours per night.

It wasnt sustainable. In fact, I was so groggy and sleep deprived it had the unintended result of lower overall productivity.

So, naturally I was skeptical when I heard you could sleep just three hours per night with no adverse effects.

But I had nothing to lose. In fact, IF THIS WORKED, I could gain the extra time Ive been seeking for years. So I HAD to try it out.

Here are my experiences and lessons from the most incredible sleep experiment Ive ever tried.

How To Get By On Four To Five Hours Of Sleep

We all know that it is optimal to get 8 hours of sleep per night.

The benefits of sleep for our health, happiness, and productivity have beenwell-documented.

There is simply no doubt that we need sleep to be at our best.

But sometimes 8 hours just isnt in the cards.

Whether because of work stress, a crying baby, or some other late-night disturbance, we are sometimes forced to function on 45 hours of sleep .

When that is the case, should we just resign ourselves to a day filled with moodiness and limited output? Or are there some strategies to counteract the effects of little sleep?

Fortunately, there are some effective ways to survive after a night of tossing and turning.

Try this routine the next time youre short on sleep:

Which Is Better Getting Very Little Sleep Or Getting No Sleep At All

Ways to Increase Your Sleep Quality and Sleep Better

The problem with answering this question is that sleep is a highly complicated process and we are nowhere near fully understanding its function.

What do you consider “better”? Feeling less sleepy or having less impairments of cognitive functions, such as attention and working memory?

I read about sleep for almost an hour now and I wasn’t able to find a study which states that cognitive functions are less impaired when having 3-4 hours of sleep compared to no sleep.

However studies seem to indicate that you feel less sleepy when you slept 4 hours compared to having not slept at all but you cognitive functions are impaired equally. This can be a great danger as you may tend to overrate your abilities in such a state.

Thus the conclusion I am trying to carefully draw here: If you have something important to do at where you have to be as wakeful as possible, get as much sleep as you can. As stated below, in 3-4 hours you can get 1-2 full sleep cycles in. You need to know your personal duration of each sleep stage though to not wake up during deep sleep which can cause you to wake up extremely sleepy and disoriented. So you can possibly feel much more sleepy compared to having not slept.

EDIT: wording, to avoid misunderstandings

What’s your opinion about some of the new research in Oxytocin that has been published lately? I don’t remember the article, but essentially it has been found to completely negate the effects of sleepiness in chimpanzees.

How Many Hours Of Sleep Do You Actually Need

It depends on how well you want your brain to work

Sleep is a time suck. If you multiplied the average recommended number of hours we should sleep in a dayeight for a typical adultby the number of days in an average lifespan , that would amount to about 9,587.3 days. Thats one third of your life spent unconscious. From an evolutionary standpoint, sleep is quite literally a waste of your time, yet its fought its way through countless years of adaptation in nearly every living animal on Earth. So it must be important, right?

In fact, researchers have found that sleep plays a vital role in the functioning of nearly every organ system in the body. At the same time, medical conditions, a busy schedule, and even the simple unavoidable act of aging constantly challenge the number of hours we allow ourselves. But that begs the question: how much sleep do we actually need? And can we train ourselves to need less?

And that wasnt the only study to support the eight-hour sleep schedule. Back in 1938, a sleep researcher named Nathaniel Kleitman and one of his students spent 32 days living in Mammoth Cave in Kentucky, one of the longest and deepest caves in the worldan environment completely void of sunlight. When they analyzed their sleep patterns, they found that they, too, slept about eight to eight and a half hours per night.

Differences In 6 Vs 8 Hours Of Sleep

Not surprisingly, test subjects who slept the recommended eight hours a night had the highest performance ratings. Those who slept six hours a night did fine until nearing the end of the study, around day 10, and those functioning on just four hours of sleep were noticeably worse each day.

The study found that the test subjects that slept four or six hours per night had a significant decrease in cognitive performance, functioning the same as if they had been deprived of sleep for two days. The difference between the four- and six-hour groups was that the performance of the four-hour group declined more quickly.

Even more interestingly, the test subjects that showed decreased cognitive performance after 10 days of sleeping six hours per night were seemingly unaware of the changes, based on their sleepiness ratings given.

What Happens After 48 Hours Of Being Awake

After two days of being awake, you will start looking for just about any way to fall asleep. As your body naturally tries to help itself, during periods of idleness, you may just doze off.

These can be quick naps or long snoozes. Or, they can be something called microsleeps. Microsleeps are fleeting moments of sleep, or a sleeplike state, lasting anywhere from 1-30 seconds. They are involuntary and occur frequently throughout the day, even if youre in the middle of an activity.

Not only does this make microsleeps dangerous in themselves a lot of things can happen during 30 seconds of unconsciousness they also leave the person in a disoriented state when they wake up.

Imagine going through these random episodes while in a meeting, on a conference call, or driving. These are all everyday scenarios, made dangerous by the lack of sleep.

Aside from these split-second naps, your body will have difficulty regulating its internal functions as well. Youll experience a dip in both body temperature and metabolism. And when coupled with constant snacking , frequent spells of going without sleep can lead to weight gain and an increased risk of diabetes.

Ultimately, your entire immune system will be compromised, as your body starts shutting down and becoming more vulnerable to bacteria and viruses. By this point, sleep is becoming increasingly crucial.

A few signs of going without sleep for 48 hours include:

  • Extreme fatigue
  • Increased risk of diabetes and other diseases

I’m Sorry But 6 Hours Of Sleep Is Definitely Better Than None

I have a serious case of Sunday Night Insomnia.

Sunday Night Insomnia is a very specific brand of insomnia. It’s not tossing and turning and vaguely worrying about something I know is ridiculous. It’s getting into bed after a relaxing weekend only to be hit with a wave of anxiety about the week in front of me.

I start a mental list of every single thing I have to do the next morning, think about how many days I have until Friday and worry about how terribly exhausted I’ll be the next day as the minutes tick on.

This Sunday night was particularly difficult because of daylight savings. We’d just lost an hour, so I wasn’t even tired.

I finally gave up and wandered out into the living room with a half-empty pint of ice cream and stared at the clock. It was already 1 am! Even if I fell asleep in the next 30 minutes, I would only get six hours of sleep.

Suddenly, a headline from the previous week floated into my anxiety-riddled brain: According to some new study, getting six hours of sleep was just as bad as getting no sleep at all.

After going into full-on panic mode, I did somehow manage to fall asleep. The next day, I wasn’t my usual perky eight-hours-of-sleep self, but I was functioning at a pretty decent level. As someone who has struggled with insomnia her entire life, I have had nights when I haven’t gotten any sleep at all.

And when that happens, I’m basically a vegetable with a mild case of anxiety. How could this study have gotten it so wrong?

Cutting Back On Total Sleep

Some people divide their sleep into a schedule of naps around the clock, sometimes called polyphasic sleeping. It’s often designed to let you get by on less total rest.

That’s a bad idea, Kushida says, since adults need at least 7 hours of sleep in 24 hours. There can be major consequences if you cut back, he says. When you’re sleep deprived, it can:

‘short Sleepers’ Can Get Just 4 Hours A Night And Feel Fine But Is Their Health At Risk

“Sleep is overrated.”

So proclaims Stephen Klasko, who throughout his life has taken pride in sleeping only four or five hours a night. Those extra few hours away from his pillow, he believes, have allowed him to write books, run marathons, and achieve his lofty professional goals. An obstetrician and gynecologist, he’s the president and CEO of Jefferson Health, one of the region’s largest health systems. Under his tenure, it has expanded rapidly to a $5 billion enterprise with 14 hospitals.

As a doctor, he is aware that inadequate sleep has been associated with a mounting list of cardiovascular, metabolic, mood, immune system and cognitive problems, or, as one researcher put it, “pretty much anything bad.” He recently turned 65 and knows that his habits might catch up with him. But he thinks he’s passing the most important health test: He feels fine.

“I’m not worried,” he said.

Should he be?

Millions of Americans, including President Donald Trump, are in the same boat. They’re considered “short sleepers,” which means they get six hours or less of shut-eye a night. Experts recommend that adults sleep at least seven hours.

“To me, the only thing more important than sleep is air and water,” said Ying-Hui Fu, a molecular biologist and geneticist who studies sleep at the University of California-San Francisco. “You cannot live very long without sleep.”

“We’re in a grand societal experiment where it’s common to sleep less now,” Williams said.

The New Focus On Sleep


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