How many hours a day of sleep do you think is necessary for good health? The National Foundation of Sleep (R) suggests that sleeping for 7-9 hours for adults is a necessity. So, what happens if you sleep 6 hours a day?
To be fair, there are enough studies conducted that help understand the side effects of lack of sleep but this specific study was conducted to further help establish a better idea about the long terms effects of sleeping 6 hours.
While majority of us have the belief that even sleeping for a few hours at night can be enough to power us through the day, the study conducted by Yetish et al (R). found that getting 6 hours of sleep in a day is just as bad as not getting any sleep at all.
According to the study, it suggests that sleeping for 6 hours or less can leave your body very dehydrated. In the conducted study, the researchers analysed the sleeping habits and the urine samples of around 20,000 participants from the United States and China.
The researchers found that the individuals who got less than six hours of sleep were 59% more likely to be dehydrated in comparison to the ones who got more sleep. This suggests why you likely feel so tired after the night on 6 hours of sleep.
The combination of the lack of optimal levels of sleep paired with dehydration is what causes you to feel tired and restless.
Asher Rosinger, PhD, assistant professor of biobehavioral health and anthropology at Penn State, who is the lead author of the study, stated saying that the release of vasopressin is done more efficiently during the later part of the sleep cycle.
Lack of proper release of the hormone later in the sleep cycle will end up affecting your hydration levels in the body.
It is not just the body’s biological clock that is reliant on the circadian rhythm, there are accessory factors too.
Even Michelle Drerup, PsyD, Director of Behavioral Sleep Medicine at Cleveland Clinic suggested saying that there are a number of factors that are associated with the circadian rhythm. Our body temperatures rise and fall during the cycle and even our appetite hormones undergo a lot of impacts during sleep.
This is the reason why the implications of vasopressin on the circadian pattern of the body is a crucial factor when you have only got 6 hours of sleep at night.
Compensating for the lack of hydration with drinking water during the day is considered one of the best ways of coping with this.
Dehydration throughout the day further has worsening impacts on one’s overall productivity and mood. One of the side effects of sleeping 6 hours a day in the long term can impact kidney health.
Being on less sleep can increase the risks of kidney stones too.
How Can You Improve Your Sleep?
But, what can you do to change the effects of sleeping 6 hours a day?
Focusing on altering your sleeping cycles is a necessity at the moment. If you have been struggling to get some quality sleep, finding better alternatives can help change that for good.
Here, we are going to share some of the best ways to get your sleeping schedule back on track.
Have a Regular Schedule
With sleep, you want to maintain consistency. If your sleeping cycles are not in track, it is likely going to affect the overall quality of sleep. This is the reason why maintaining a healthy sleeping schedule or pattern is key. This also helps reduce the risks of a number of health-related issues, namely heart diseases and other chronic issues.
Another important factor in keeping your sleeping pattern in check is by managing your stress. Find constructive ways to handle your stress. Often times, stress can affect your melatonin levels, keeping you from getting quality sleep. Find better coping mechanisms for quality sleep.
Diet Matters Too
What you eat matters a lot when it comes to your overall health and well being. If you have been experiencing a lack of sleep, find better ways to keep an eye out on your diet. Avoid eating very heavy meals, instead, focus on eating something light and try and avoid excessive caffeine intake before bed.
Follow A Bedtime Routine
Setting a bedtime routine can effectively help improve the quality of sleep. A relaxing routine includes you setting aside your digital items away from you at least an hour before bed. You can also take a warm bath before bed or meditate for 10 minutes to calm you down. It all comes down to things that you find soothing and relaxing for yourself.
Get Some Doctor’s Advice
One of the best ways to cope with the lack of sleep is by getting some doctor’s advice. Consult a sleep specialist. This can further help you get a better answer to the queries that you might be having.
Answers to what happens if you sleep 6 hours a day can be varying. While some believe that they are absolutely functioning their best on that frame of sleep, some complain about constant tiredness. Even studies suggest the latter. Finding better ways to restore your sleeping cycle is a necessity that you just can’t brush aside. Make sure that you keep an eye out on your sleeping patterns and quality of sleep as well.