Are 8 Hours of Sleep Really Necessary?

By Healthy SELF, SELF Magazine

You know you should be getting 7-9 hours of sleep every day -- but who says it has to happen during one marathon snoozing session?

David K. Randall, author of Dreamland: Adventures in the Strange Science of Sleep, points to a growing body of evidence suggesting that getting enough "deep" sleep during the course of the day -- rather than in one eight-hour chunk -- might be just as beneficial from a performance point of view. For example, taking a "power nap" at work (if it's OK with your boss!) might be just as restorative as sleeping peacefully all night long.

  

If you’re not of the rare breed that worries about hours wasted while snoozing, you do love your daily dose of slumber. Perhaps you even look forward to it with unnatural enthusiasm. If so, you’re

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If you’re not of the rare breed that worries about hours wasted while snoozing, you do love your daily dose of slumber. Perhaps you even look forward to it with unnatural enthusiasm. If so, you’re doing it right. Apart from being the most relaxing end to a long day, sleeping also has multiple health benefits.

Top 8 health benefits of sleep

Reduces stress: In the case of sleep deficiency, the body’s functions enter a state of high alert, and cause an increase in blood pressure and production of stress hormones. The stress hormones make it harder to sleep and the higher blood pressure amplifies the risk of heart attacks and strokes.

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Mdhil | Photo by Thinkstock
Tue 5 Jun, 2012 4:30 PM IST
Here's something else to sleep on: In today's 24-7 work environment, with phones and various other gadgets beeping at all hours, this advice might be more realistic for many of us. In fact, according to a recent report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 41 million people in the United States get six hours or fewer of sleep a night.

Do you ever break up your sleep into smaller chunks? Or do you need 7-9 consecutive hours to feel like a human being in the morning (as opposed to a cranky $#^$%)?

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