How much sleep do you really need?
Without a doubt, sleep is one of the most important things when it comes to your health. Lack of sleep can affect the way you feel and the way your body functions. The common adage is you need 8 hours of sleep a night. But is this true? Can you get by with less? Or do you need more? How much sleep do you think you actually need to be normal?
Well this has been studied extensively throughout the years, and the evidence shows that although we are all different people with different genes, we all need a minimum amount of sleep. Anything less than 7 hours is detrimental to your health, and most people actually need more than that. The right amount of sleep for humans is between 8-9 hours. Sleeping more than eight hours has not been shown to have positive or negative health effects. The only thing you can do wrong is sleep too little.
There are certain things that increase your needed sleep time. These include mental stress, physical stress, whether at work or exercising, and also illness. Also people suffering health problems have an increase need for sleep. A recent lack of sleep will also increase the amount of sleep you need.
But what if you feel you only need 6-7 hours a night and you’re fine? Well I would ask are you really fine? Do you rely on an alarm clock? Do you sleep in for hours on the weekend? Those are clues your body wants more sleep. Also, regardless of how you feel, the important thing is how your body is functioning internally. You can feel fine even though your lack of sleep is causing internal health problems that you are unaware of. Just like people that have a heart attack on the golf course without prior symptoms. You may also have been sleep deprived so long that you have no idea what it feels like to actually be fully rested. Similar to people who we see in the office who didn’t realize what feeling good really was until they started getting adjusted.
If you are having sleep difficulties, it is important to find out why, before it starts to take a major toll on your health. One of the most common reasons a person’s sleep gets interrupted is they are uncomfortable. You find yourself tossing and turning, thinking you need a new pillow or even a new mattress. Many times we find patients need neither, they simply need some consistent chiropractic care to make them actually comfortable again.
Sometimes we get so used to living a way we don’t realize that maybe there is a better, happier, healthier way. So get some rest.