Health & Wellness

Do I Seriously Need 8 Hours of Sleep?


The National Sleep Foundation, a leading non-profit authority on sleep, recommends that healthy adults average between 7 to 9 hours of sleep at night and that people over 65 get 7 to 8 hours per night. Unfortunately, busy work schedules or the inability to sleep due to worrying, sleep disorders, or other causes can keep us from getting advised amounts. Often, people wonder, how much sleep is necessary? Is 5 hours of sleep in a 24-hour-long day enough? Let’s see what some experts say:

  • Healthline, offering medically reviewed and fact-checked medical information, addresses whether five hours of sleep is enough. They share that per a 2018 study of more than 10,000 people, the body’s ability to function declines if sleep isn’t in the seven-to-eight-hour range. The report also states that verbal skills, reasoning skills, and one’s overall ability to think were not at full capacity, thus reducing the ability to perform at one’s best.


  • The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), a national public health agency, indicates a strong link between sleep and health, stating that good quality sleep is essential for all ages. They explain that sleep requirements fluctuate dependent upon age and conclude that adults need 7 or more hours of sleep per night for the best health and well-being. The CDC says that a third of US adults report getting less than the recommended amounts of sleep. Not getting enough sleep is linked with certain types of diabetes, heart disease, obesity, and even depression.  They recommend that people do what they can to improve their sleep quality and seek medical help to diagnose and treat sleep disorders.


  • Harvard Health Publishing, a provider of a wealth of health and wellness information, explains that sleep affects everyone as we spend about a third of our lives sleeping. Numerous studies point out that most adults are not getting adequate sleep. In a Q & A on sleep, they report, “That’s worrisome because the average person has worse health outcomes (including more obesity, diabetes, and heart disease and shorter life) if he or she sleeps less or more than these ranges, on average.” On the one hand, too little sleep is associated with medical problems. Too much sleep, on the other hand, can also have negative health outcomes. Thus, achieving adequate sleep, not too little or too much, is likely optimal. 


  • WebMD, a leading reliable source of medical information, states that a lack of sleep at night can make people cranky the next day. Over time, skimping on sleep may cause cumulative harm. Getting adequate sleep makes the brain sharper, boosts mood, helps the heart as blood pressure decreases while one sleeps, increases motivation and reaction times, helps to steady blood sugar, helps the body fight off germs, and has positive effects on weight management.


In conclusion, experts concur that 7 to 8 hours of sleep is generally optimal for most healthy adults. In addition, the benefits of getting adequate sleep are numerous and may even affect one’s overall lifespan. With adequate sleep, people are apt to operate more sensibly, creatively, intelligently, and have lower amounts of stress that can improve their days and reduce cardiovascular or other conditions worsened by anxiety. As a bonus, when we sleep, we may maintain our beauty as we are less likely to be depressed or angry. Per Healthline, this can reduce frowning and furrowing brows. Thus, by going to bed early and waking up feeling refreshed, we can honestly say that we got our beauty rest!


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