A new study about sleep published that an average of 6 hours sleep is no different than what our ancestors had even before we were born! These days, every human being, child and adult are getting less sleep, due to long working hours, longer travel time, television, social media, and the internet. The new study suggests that people living in an industrialized region do not get any more or less sleep than those living in primitive societies.
Sleep is a vital indicator of overall health and wellbeing. Although most of us know getting a good sleep is important to health and performance, only a few of us actually make a 7 or 8 hours of sleep in a day. In fact, some of us had forgotten how it feels to be really truly rested at night.
We often talk about the dangers of fatigue in the workplace and the difference a lack of sleep can make on the performance of an athlete. Do you think you are performing your best with a 6 hours of sleep?
Using the FAST software developed by the US military to understand the effects of fatigue on performance, one study tried to measure performance and fatigue for those who are sleeping 6 hours a night or less on a regular basis.
According to the study, these people go through the natural human phenomenon of renorming, where the individual is only able to compare how it feels today to how it felt yesterday or the day before. The decline in how they feel and perform is gradual enough they might not even notice the change in their reaction time and performance.
The FAST grid demonstrates a decline in the performance of someone who is only getting 6 hours of sleep, from midnight to 6am for a period of 2 weeks. At 3pm on Monday the following week, the effectiveness decreased by 19%, reaction time decreased by 24%, and they are 3 times more likely to suffer an excessively long lapse in reaction time.
Science can most likely show that no organization or economy is immune to the cost associated with lost productivity caused by human fatigue. If anything, sleep deprivation remains a threat to public health. Those who do not get enough sleep are more likely to suffer from chronic diseases, such as hypertension, diabetes, depression, and obesity, or even cancer.
Don’t you know that lack of sleep costs more than $2,500 per person per year in lost workplace productivity? So, if you are only getting 6 hours of sleep each night, you might be just as sleep deprived as someone who got zero hours of sleep for 2 days.
In the last few days of the experiment, those who got 6 hours of sleep showed cognitive performance as bad as the people who weren’t able to sleep at all. Getting only 6 hours of shut eye was as bad as not sleeping for 2 days straight, although the group seemed to be holding their own until around day 10 of the study.
Here is the uptake to obesity. Chronic sleep restriction causes increased consumption of foods with a high glycemic index, particularly desserts and sweets. It may cause changes in dietary behaviors that increase the risk of obesity and associated morbidity.
The lack of sleep can diminish your antioxidant levels as well as weaken your immune system. Sleep should not be too little or too much. A sleep research in Japan showed that when people sleep fewer hours, mortality rate goes up, but when they sleep any longer, mortality also goes up!
How much sleep do you really need?
In the Sleep Health Journal Article, it was agreed by the panel that healthy individuals with normal sleep have the appropriate sleep durations
- Newborns, 14 and 17 hours
- Infants, 12 and 15 hours
- Toddlers, 11 and 14 hours
- Preschoolers, 10 and 13 hours
- School aged children, 9 and 11 hours
- Teenagers, 8 to 10 hours
- Young adults, 7 to 9 hours
- Adults, 7 to 9 hours
- Older adults, 7 to 8 hours
The optimum amount of sleep to get, on average, every night to live longest is 7 hours of sleep. Maybe you can create your own number and build awareness of how you feel the next morning after 6, 7 , 8 or 9 hours of sleep.
Obtaining sufficient sleep is a crucial component of proper health maintenance. Lack of sleep makes you fat and would be difficult for you to lose weight also.