And people carrying other genetic mutations are more affected by sleep deprivation or experience deeper sleep (1). Panel members reviewed hundreds of validated research studies on sleep duration and key health outcomes such as cardiovascular disease, depression, pain and diabetes. Your internal biological clock operates on a roughly 24-hour schedule that controls the sleep-wake cycle. But this internal rhythm can be disrupted, leaving us with the negative consequences of poor sleep.
Improving my sleep routine has doubled my productivity and my potential for work and life activities. The exception to this rule is individuals with a genetic variant that allows the brain to function more efficiently on less than six hours of sleep, but this is extremely rare and very few people actually have this gene. According to the National Sleep Foundation, older adults should get between 7 and 9 hours of sleep each night. Distractions at bedtime, such as screens, bright lights and heavy music, can prevent you from sleeping better.
And because this is the time when the body clears 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. While some people sleep well on just six hours, most of us would benefit from an extra hour or two of rest. While getting the sleep the body craves can be difficult, every hour of sleep you get has an impact on your overall health. 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.
Sudden awakenings during this stage of sleep are rare, and sleep episodes such as sleepwalking and sleep talking occur during this stage. Muscles relax and the brain begins to slow down as the body prepares for a deeper, more restful sleep.