Young adults can sleep between 7 and 9 hours, as recommended by the National Sleep Foundation, with 6 hours being adequate. It is not recommended to sleep less than 6 hours. Research shows that not getting enough sleep can affect your ability to communicate, solve problems and remember information. All this means that if you usually go to bed only six hours before the alarm clock goes off, you are not living your best life or getting the full benefits of sleep.
Sleeping pills, on the other hand, are fine for occasional use, but over time they lose their effect and you can become dependent on them for sleep. As you can imagine, subjects who were allowed to sleep eight hours a night performed the best on average. More interestingly, subjects who showed a decline in cognitive performance after 10 days of sleeping six hours a night did not seem to be aware of the changes, according to their "sleepiness ratings". Your muscles will relax and your brain will begin to slow down as your body prepares for a deeper, more restful sleep.
Therefore, it is essential that you pay attention to how you feel to determine if you are getting enough sleep. Consider turning off your phone, dimming the lights and reading a book before bed to put your mind to sleep. Subjects in a laboratory sleep study who were allowed to sleep only six hours a night for two weeks at a time performed as poorly as those who were forced to stay awake for two days at a time. However, it may be determined by how long it takes you to fall asleep, how often you wake up during the night, how rested you feel the next day and how much time you spend in the different stages of sleep.
One of the most alarming findings of the sleep study is that the six-hour sleep group did not rate their sleepiness as bad, even when their cognitive performance was declining. And since this is the time when the body eliminates waste from the brain, it may be the reason why too little sleep seems to be associated with an increased risk of Alzheimer's disease. (Not surprisingly, the test subjects who slept the recommended eight hours a night had the highest performance ratings. In addition, sleep deprivation can affect the body's ability to regulate essential functions such as appetite control, the immune system, metabolism and body weight (3).
In this sleep deprivation study, published in the journal Sleep, 48 adults were taken and restricted to a maximum of four, six or eight hours of sleep per night for two weeks; an unlucky subset were deprived of sleep for three days in a row.