Have You Asked The Question Is 6 Hours Of Sleep OK Or Not?

Is 6 Hours of Sleep OK?

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Most of us know that getting enough proper sleep is good for optimal health but you might have asked yourself is 6 hours of sleep ok? 

The answer is no. It is recommended that adults get 7 to 9 hours of sleep per night. 

So you might be thinking that losing 1 hour may not be significant, but that is not the case.

How Bad Is It?

Getting only six hours of sleep or less puts you at higher risk for high blood pressure, diabetes, psychiatric disorders like depression, and obesity.

Moreover, it decreases productivity at work, cognitive function like problem-solving, and increases negative emotional response by 60%.

Is 6 hours of sleep ok?

It affects your hormones

Different hormones are released at different times during your sleep cycle. If this is interrupted then certain metabolic processes are compromised. 

One of the reasons why you feel awful after a poor nights sleep can be attributed to dehydration. 

Vasopressin is a hormone that regulates your body’s hydration levels and is released both early and late during sleep. If this is interrupted, then dehydration can occur.

The reason why a lack of sleep affects obesity rates is due to two other hormones. Leptin is the hormone that tells your brain that you are full and ghrelin is the hormone that signals that you are hungry.

Sleep deprivation increases ghrelin and decreases leptin and therefore, your appetite increases and you never feel full. This often leads to significant weight gain.

Not getting enough sleep also increases blood sugar. Insulin, the hormone that regulates blood glucose, is then released to decrease levels.

Over time this can lead to insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes.

It suppresses your immune system

Another bad side effect is a decreased immune system. People who lose sleep are more susceptible to colds and infections.

This is due to a reduction in cytokine, a powerful protein that is released to combat infection when you’re sick.

It also decreases disease-fighting antibodies which can lengthen your recovery time from illness.

It can make you depressed

Research shows a strong correlation between sleep and mood. 

Lack of sleep decreases your energy levels, heightens negative emotions, and can increase anxiety.

People who suffer from insomnia, a sleep disorder involving not being able to fall/ and or stay asleep, are 10 times more likely to suffer from clinical depression.

It can affect your heart

When you sleep, your heart rate and blood pressure are lowered which eases the amount of work the heart has to do.

But when you lose sleep, chemicals are released that prevent this.

Eventually, this can lead to high blood pressure and a greater risk for cardiovascular issues.

It can affect your brain

Losing sleep actually decreases your ability not only to remember information but also to process and learn new information.

It robs your brain cells of the ability to function properly. This, in turn, causes memory lapses and makes it difficult to concentrate.

Over time, this will affect your ability to perform higher brain functions like critical thinking and problem-solving.

What Happens When You Sleep

Sleep is often associated with rest and inactivity, but quite the opposite is true.

Your brain and body are working extensively to perform key functions that promote optimal health.

This is the time basically when the body heals and gets you ready for the next day. 

Tissue and cellular repair happens, toxic byproducts from your daily activities are removed, and your brain’s energy stores are replenished.

All the information, experiences, and images from your day are processed by the brain and put into memory.

Getting proper sleep increases your brain plasticity which allows your brain cells to function optimally.

So there is a lot going on behind the scenes when you sleep.

Something Else to Consider If You Ask Yourself 'Is 6 Hours of Sleep OK?'

You may think you’re doing fine with the amount of sleep your getting when you’re not. 

A sleep deprivation study conducted by the Harvard and Pennsylvania School of Medicine showed an alarming result. 

Participants who were restricted to six hours of sleep for two weeks performed just as poorly in cognitive function testing as participants who were kept awake for 3 days.

Even worse, the test studies who got six hours slept thought they performed normally.

How to tell if you need more sleep

  • Would you oversleep if you didn’t have an alarm set?
  • Do you sleep in on your days off?
  • Do you need coffee or some form of caffeine to function in the morning?
  • Do you hit the snooze button 2 or 3 times before you finally get up?

These can all be signs that you need some more shut-eye.


How To Get More Sleep

Now you know how important good quality sleep is and the negative effects if you don’t get enough. So how do you fix this?

Here are some tips to help ensure you sleep better.

  • Cool it down. 65-68 degrees is the ideal temperature for your bedroom at night.t
  • Use a white noise machine. These devices produce serene sounds that induce sleep.
  • Invest in blackout curtains. These will prevent any outside light from filtering in.
  • Have a comfortable mattress. It should be replaced every 7 years if you can’t do that then get a less expensive mattress pad.
  • Clean your room. Remove any clutter lying around and dust and vacuum. You want your room to be a sanctuary.
  • Ditch the electronics. The blue light from these signals the brain to wake up. So stop using them 3 hours before bedtime.
  • Cool it down. 65-68 degrees is the ideal temperature for your bedroom at night.
  • Use a white noise machine. These devices produce serene sounds that induce sleep.
  • Invest in blackout curtains. These will prevent any outside light from filtering in.
  • Have a comfortable mattress. It should be replaced every 7 years if you can’t do that then get a less expensive mattress pad.
  • Clean your room. Remove any clutter lying around and dust and vacuum. You want your room to be a sanctuary.
  • Ditch the electronics. The blue light from these signals the brain to wake up. So stop using them 3 hours before bedtime.
  • Cover up your alarm clock. If you do wake up, the last thing you want to do is how many hours you have until it goes off.
  • Switch to decaf after 1 pm. Caffeine is a stimulate that can disrupt your sleep.
  • Stop eating 3 hours before bedtime. If your body is digesting food it will disrupt your sleep.
  • Do 30 minutes of moderate exercise daily. Just make sure you are done 4 hours before you hit the hay.
  • Go to bed at the same time. This will improve your sleep quality and help set the internal clock of your body to perform optimally.
  • Don’t sleep in on your days off. You can’t make up for losing sleep all week by sleeping more on the weekends, it doesn’t work that way.

We all want to live healthy and productive lives.

So use these tips so you’ll be able to get good quality sleep and have your body function at its best.