Is 6 hours of sleep at night enough?

If you happen to really feel like you can use extra sleep, you in all probability aren’t alone. Sleep is crucial for optimum well being, however getting sufficient of it each night time is simpler mentioned than achieved. So, is six hours of sleep sufficient?

Many individuals sleep lower than the really useful quantity, which is at the least seven hours for adults, based on the American Academy of Sleep Medication. It is regular to have a foul night time on occasion, however what in case you’re persistently hitting proper under the goal?

If you happen to sleep a mean of six hours an evening, just one hour lower than really useful quantity adults, it’s possible you’ll be curious if it actually makes a distinction. So, what are the well being results of routinely sleeping six hours an evening?

Is 6 hours of sleep sufficient?

Usually talking, six hours just isn’t sufficient sleep for the typical particular person.

The quantity of sleep adults want is formed like a bell curve, and the overwhelming majority of the inhabitants falls within the center between seven and 9 hours, Dr. Bhanu Kolla, a sleep doctor and psychiatrist on the Mayo Clinic, tells In different phrases, if individuals might sleep for so long as their physique desires, with no disruptions or alarms, most adults will naturally sleep for that vary, Kolla provides.


On the sleep wants bell curve, there are individuals who fall under the typical, above it and whole outliers.

Some adults want round 10 hours of sleep each night time with a view to really feel rested, and that is wholesome, says Kolla. “The AASM does not have an higher restrict in phrases for adults when it comes to how a lot sleep you want,” Kolla provides.

Sure people require much less sleep than the really useful length, so six hours is sufficient, the consultants be aware. “If it is occurring naturally, so that they’re going to mattress after they’re drowsy waking up on their very own with out an alarm, they usually’re persistently getting six hours and functioning very properly, it in all probability is what their physique wants,” says Kolla. However this is not that widespread, he provides.

On the acute finish, there are individuals who can operate usually with as little as 4 hours of sleep. Known as “short-sleepers,” these individuals can naturally sleep lower than six hours an evening with out feeling drained or struggling antagonistic results, Kolla provides.

Pure short-sleepers are very uncommon, Dr. Andrew Varga, a neuroscientist and doctor on the Mount Sinai Integrative Sleep Heart, tells “These are individuals who have a household gene mutation. … We’re speaking very tiny numbers of individuals,” says Varga.

“On the flip aspect, there are many individuals who do sleep lower than six hours each night time,” says Varga.

Why do not individuals get sufficient sleep?

One-third of adults in the USA report that they often get lower than the really useful quantity of sleep, based on the U.S. Facilities for Illness Management.

Most individuals don’t get sufficient sleep due to obligations like work or faculty, way of life selections, poor sleep hygiene, or sleeping issues, Shelby Harris, PsyD, a scientific psychologist specializing in behavioral sleep drugs and director of sleep well being at  Sleepopolis, tells

Examples embrace extreme substance use (like alcohol) particularly if it is near bedtime, not exercising sufficient, an excessive amount of display screen time near bedtime, consuming an excessive amount of caffeine and extra napping.

Well being circumstances can even result in not getting sufficient high quality sleep, such sleep apnea, which interrupts respiration in the course of the night time, and sleep issues like insomnia, Kolla notes.

Well being affect of solely getting 6 hours of sleep

Sleeping lower than seven hours each night time with out catching up can result in continual sleep deprivation, which will increase the chance of plenty of well being points, the consultants be aware. Even one night time with out sufficient relaxation can affect the physique the next day.

Cognitive impairment and drowsiness

Relying in your baseline stage of sleep, six hours might depart you feeling drowsy, fatigued, irritable, or provide the urge to nap all through the day, says Kolla.

“I feel in case you have been to truly put (individuals who sleep six hours an evening) to the take a look at and have a look at how they’re functioning in the course of the day cognitively, you’d positively discover deficits,” says Varga. These embrace slower response time, poorer working and retrospective reminiscence, problem paying consideration, and extra.

Hurting inner organ operate

The hyperlink between sleep length and antagonistic well being outcomes has been well-studied, the consultants be aware. Routine sleep deprivation can have an effect on each organ of the physique, says Varga. It is linked to an elevated danger of coronary heart assault, stroke, hypertension, coronary heart illness, diabetes, kidney illness and metabolic syndrome, the consultants be aware.

“There appears to be an elevated danger (of mortality) and as you go under seven, and the additional down that path you go, the upper the chance,” says Kolla.

Psychological well being issues

Analysis has proven that sleeping too little can be related to an elevated danger of growing despair, nervousness, bipolar dysfunction, and Alzheimer’s, Kolla provides.

What is the really useful quantity of sleep?

The quantity of sleep you want adjustments as you age, and particular person sleep wants will fluctuate primarily based on an individual’s way of life, well being and environmental components.

Listed here are the really useful hours of sleep for every age group, based on the AASM:

  • Infants (4–12 months): 12–16 hours, together with naps
  • Toddler (1–2 years): 11–14 hours, together with naps
  • Preschool-age youngsters (3–5 years): 10–13 hours, together with naps
  • Faculty-age youngsters (6–12 years): 9–12 hours
  • Youngsters (13–18 years): 8–10 hours
  • Adults (18+ years): 7 or extra hours

The fundamentals of sleep high quality

Sleep high quality issues, too. Once we sleep, the physique will undergo by means of completely different levels of REM (speedy eye motion) sleep and non-REM sleep, says Varga.

In the course of the really useful seven to 9 hours of sleep, we sometimes undergo three to 5 sleep cycles per night time, with the length of REM sleep getting longer every subsequent time, Varga explains. That is known as the physique’s “sleep structure.”

Disrupted or irregular sleep structure can worsen the standard of sleep and over time, result in sleep deprivation, the consultants be aware.

The timing of sleep, whenever you go to sleep and whenever you get up, can be vital, says Varga. The 24-hour sleep-wake cycle is regulated by our circadian rhythm, which responds to adjustments in mild, per the Nationwide Sleep Basis.

Learn how to get extra sleep

Getting extra sleep just isn’t at all times a simple job, the consultants be aware, however being conscious of the potential results of sleep deprivation is an efficient first step. It is vital for everybody — adults and kids alike — to be prioritizing sleep each night time, says Harris.

The consultants advocate the next steps to prioritize your sleep:

  • Be constant: Attempt to go to mattress on the identical time and get up on the identical time day-after-day, says Harris.
  • Create a wind-down routine at night time to assist your physique loosen up.
  • Minimize down on display screen time at night time, and keep away from utilizing digital units half-hour to 1 hour earlier than bedtime, says Varga.
  • Restrict caffeine and alcohol consumption, says Kolla.
  • Train repeatedly.
  • Keep away from napping too near bedtime.