If you have even been slightly concerned about your sleep hygiene these past few years, it is very likely that you’ll find opposing views about slumber in every form of media there is today. There will be some who will tell you that you need at least 8 hours of sleep nightly, and some additional hours to recover from sleep debt. Others will tell you an entirely different thing, and will conclude that you can do more if you choose to sleep less.
With all of the studies and research materials provided, it can be confusing what to believe about how you should go about your sleep. As a lot of successful people swear their achievements can be attributed to them skimping on their zzz’s, most would think that in order to succeed, you’ll need to cut down on your hours asleep and use it for something more “productive”. This is not to mention that it makes some of us feel bad about needing more shuteye. It may even be tempting that some of us choose to sleep less and suffer from the consequences as a result, just so we can stay up later and accomplish more.
The problem with skimping on sleep is that it can truly prevent us from being at our best. Sleep helps us recharge, retain information, and basically just ready us for the next day. Cutting down your hours of shuteye could be detrimental to your health, as it can impend body processes that are important for you to function properly. It can also affect your appearance for the worse, as well as allow you to gain unwanted weight, as less sleep can make you crave for more food and slow down your metabolism among other things.
Here at Salem beds, we advocate for a healthy sleeping habit. We believe that getting all the rest you can is always ideal for your health. However, we must emphasize that this does not necessarily mean that we want you to sleep a whole lot more. More hours of sleep doesn’t necessarily equate to quality sleep, which is why some people feel even worse after sleeping for 9 hours as opposed to having getting a 6-hour shuteye. Less sleep also doesn’t mean that you’re getting enough, especially if you need to rely on caffeine and other substances to power you through the day.
With a lot of contradictions on how much you should really sleep, it might get a bit tricky in learning whether you should sleep more or less. This is why focusing on getting a more quality sleep should be your goal.
But what does quality sleep actually mean? Quality sleep is the kind of sleep that allows you to wake up refreshed and rejuvenated. It is also the type of slumber that has completed the different sleep stages and cycles, which are essential in recharging the body and improving cognitive functions. Of course, quality sleep is also a great ingredient to better health, as it is a basic physiological function that allows you to rest and recharge.
Unfortunately, it’s a lot easier to measure the quantity of your sleep than the quality as all you need to do is count the hours that you’ve been asleep. However, measuring the quality of your sleep isn’t impossible. According to experts, it’s all about the preparation. By creating an environment and dealing with (should there be any) existing sleep issues, you can sleep more soundly.
If you enjoy sleeping, you might want to know how many hours is the optimal amount for you to spend in bed. Experts suggest that you go on an experimental period of 3 days to a week (more preferably while on a vacation). During these days, do not set an alarm clock or force yourself to sleep, but hit the hay as soon as you feel tired or sleepy. Let your body clock wake you up in the mornings, avoid caffeine or alcohol, and minimize your interaction with electronic devices. Doing such will let you reset your body clock and let you stress yourself out about your slumber less. Just remember to track and record your progress and note when you feel more refreshed and energized so you can determine how many hours of sleep is necessary for you.
In the end, fretting about getting a lot or little sleep shouldn’t be something you worry about. What you need to focus on is to achieve quality slumber, so you can be sure that you’re not just clocking in some time in your bed, but you’re actually helping your body recuperate from your daily activities.