How much Sleep?

If you are like me and stayed up to start watching the coverage of the elections, you may have ended up in sleep deficit. I know I did as I woke up groggy. Of course, if you were not a Trump supporter, you may not have wanted to wake up. So how much sleep do you need? In a study conducted by U Penn and Washington University, researchers put different cohorts to test by asking them to sleep for between 4 and 8 hours a night for a few weeks.

The research shows that those who sleep for eight hours were the ones that showed no cognitive decline, decline in motor skills or decline in attention. However, those sleeping six hours showed significant declines in their cognitive capacity. According to the study, sleeping six hours a day for two weeks was similar to not having slept for 48 hours at a stretch. Therefore, if you pride yourself on being an Alpha male or  female equivalent who can get by on a few hours of sleep a day, research proves otherwise. If you tried to catch up; meaning if you lazed around on a Saturday or Sunday it would help. For example you would not have to claim that you were meditating in the middle of a conversation with your boss, while actually dozing. However, cognitive decline would not reverse.  Therefore it was just best to just get your required eight hours of sleep everyday. A lack of sleep has several degenerative outcomes ranging from weight gain, ageing of the skin, depression and an increase in the risk of diseases caused by inflammation.

Much like fine wine, the hour at which you rise and shine is an acquired taste. If you are like me, the bell tolls for you at 4 am. For others it is 9 am. Whatever the hour, count backwards and make sure you sleep eight hours prior; even if that means holding on tightly to your teddy bear.

PS: this article holds true for adults. For children, the more they sleep the better.


Ritesh is a born again health enthusiast and holds a Certificate in Physiology from Harvard Medical School and a Certificate in Nutrition from Tufts University.