A lack of sleep can have quite an effect on how we feel. You may have found yourself feeling a bit groggy or perhaps more irritable after not having had as much sleep as usual.
How much is enough sleep?
Researchers have tested how much sleep is required each night by assigning groups of people to 4, 6 and 8 hours of sleep over extended periods of time. After 14 days those sleeping for 8 hours exhibited fewer attention lapses or cognitive issues while those with 6 or 4 hours showed a steady decline.
In fact those assigned 6 and 4 hours showed some worrying effects and in both groups brain function declined day by day almost linearly with no sign off levelling off.
Scientists have called this cumulative effect ‘Sleep Debt’. While it would appear we can recover from Sleep Debt after a few nights of lost sleep with a few nights of good quality sleep, recovery of cognitive function after months of cumulative sleep loss is much slower.
Most studies tend to suggest that 7 -8 hours of sleep is the average ideal for humans.
Watch this Video
This 3:37 minute video provides scientific research into how much sleep we need and the effect that too little or too much sleep has and also the role our genes play in how much sleep we need.
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