To decide how much sleep you need, you should consider your general health, your daily activities and your usual sleep patterns. If you often feel that you do not sleep well or are very tired and do not know why, it is a good idea to consult your doctor. When you don't get enough sleep, leptin levels decrease, which means you don't feel as satisfied after eating, and ghrelin levels increase, which stimulates your appetite so you want more food. While too little sleep may be tempting at the time, it's not worth it because sleep is essential to being at your best both mentally and physically.
Other organisations, such as the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM) and the Sleep Research Society (SRS) have also published recommendations on the amount of sleep needed for adults and children. Fu has not studied whether people with the genes are more or less likely than others to develop health problems or how their poor sleep affects lifespan. Andrew Lim, a neurologist who studies sleep at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre in Toronto, believes the quality of sleep may be more important than quantity. Some people brag about how little sleep they need, but fall asleep in meetings, sleep late on weekends or guzzle coffee or Diet Coke all day, while others don't really seem tired.
Panel members reviewed hundreds of validated research studies on sleep duration and key health outcomes, such as cardiovascular disease, depression, pain and diabetes. To complicate matters further, Sigrid Veasey, a physician who studies sleep at Penn Medicine, said it can also matter when sleep is lost. The amount of sleep you need depends on many different factors, such as age, genetics and the quality of your night's sleep. They found that while half of the participants reported typically sleeping less than 6.3 hours a night, some slept four hours or less.
People do not belong to this group, according to Fu, if they drink a lot of coffee or tea to stay awake, or need to catch up on sleep at weekends or on holidays. While this group seems most likely to avoid the problems associated with sleep deprivation, Williams cautions against taking it for granted. The recommendations also recognise that, for some people with unique circumstances, there is some wiggle room on either side of the "acceptable, but not optimal, amount of sleep" range. While any one night of poor sleep is not bad in the long run, as the study found, a regular cycle of eight hours of sleep per night is quite good for well-being.