How Much Sleep is Enough? Find Out!

Why 6 Hours of Sleep May Not Be Enough for Your Health

Would you be surprised if I told you that sleep is the most crucial part of our daily lives? Some of you might say, but what about exercise and a healthy diet? Others might say, how about relationships with family and friends – they’re important too, right? And even some of us might focus on our careers and say, 'For me, that’s right up there too.' 

And we would all be right. And no, don’t bash the career-minded individuals entirely just yet. Galen, the famous physician from ancient Rome, claimed, ‘Employment is nature’s physician and is essential to human happiness.’ What we all need for a good life is a healthy balance of them all. 

But I still stand by my claim that enough quality sleep is essential. According to research, the average human adult needs between seven and nine hours of shut-eye per night to function at one hundred percent. 

But what about six hours? 

Other research claims that about six hours is enough. This finding is based on the hypothesis that our prehistoric ancestors thrived on precisely that amount of rest. That one made me frown because I read a more recent article claiming that Neanderthals had enlarged noses, allowing for them to inhale more oxygen than us modern humans – now, that’s an advantageous regenerative ability.    

Whatever it is, for me seven hours is the minimum, anything below that amount and I start to see the signs. The first thing to go when I sleep below the required amount is my cognitive functions. I find I am less alert and far more forgetful. 

The typical me running out the door without my car keys form an integral part of this phase. 

Now, many of you may be asking yourselves why would I ever do that to myself if I already knew after a very short time what effect sleep deprivation was having on me.

I agree. I would ask the same thing too. But have you forgotten the easiest reason? I bet you have because we all use it as a motive to stay awake. We are time-starved. We have jobs, we might have kids, we have social lives, we have families, we have… Must I go on? Nope, because we all have a lot to do and sleep is the easiest and best thing to sacrifice.    


Enough quality sleep (and I mean more than 7 hours) is directly linked to our wellbeing and lifespan. We all know what it is like to wake up feeling refreshed after enough shut-eye. We feel ready to take on anything, and this feeling is further enhanced when we look at our selves in the mirror. Our skins are glowing. 

I hope the most of you remember that feeling.   

What happens after only 6 hours? To be honest, this duration is the most dangerous because it can sustain you for quite some time without you noticing any difference in performance. You may not even realize that you are less alert or that your memory is not en form. And you definitely won’t immediately see the more serious things like higher blood pressure, heart strain, stress and a higher risk of weight gain. The negative will creep up on you over time.  

If falling asleep or waking up at night is your problem, might be able to help by helping you find a new mattress. Also, adopting some scientific hacks to get better sleep is well worth it. Remember, no matter who you are it is very unlikely anything below seven hours of sleep per night is enough.     

Written by: Mike Sarabia is a passionate mental health writer.

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