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8 Hours Sleep: Is It Vital?

Updated on November 23, 2009

Sleeping Beauty: What's her Secret?

We all think that to lead a healthy lifestyle, getting 8 hours or more sleep is vital. But how do we know it is? Many studies have been carried out that actually show otherwise.

Some people are pysically incapable of sleeping for more than a few hours and after, say, 5 hours, they wake up, are wide awake and are totally unable to go back to sleep again. My Dad can only sleep for a few hours each night, no matter how tired he feels when he goes to bed, whereas I can sleep for England...I can never seem to get enough sleep - 8 hours just isn't enough! So why is this? Is it some form of insomnia? Is it to do with age? Well, the answer is that the appropriate amount of sleep differs for each individual.

There is no right or wrong amount of time to sleep. It all depends on your body. Of course, many other factors play a role in how much sleep your body needs. Your diet, for instance. If you eat highly nutritious foods, the likliness is that your body will gain more energy from those foods and will therefore require less sleep. But nothing is set in stone - you may still need 9 or 10 hours sleep to feel fully refreshed. They say that teenagers need more sleep than adults, so perhaps that explains why I am always tired and need to sleep for so long. And although my Dad can only sleep for a couple of hours each night, he has this amazing ability to fall asleep anytime and anywhere. And I mean anywhere! But me? The only place I can sleep is in my bed on a night...and perhaps in the car on a long journey. So it is just specific to each individual.

However, scientists once suggested that those who sleep for 8 hours their whole lives won't live as long as those who get less than 8 hours sleep each night. This seemed a very odd and unlikey hypothesis, and whether you choose to believe it is up to you, but it certainly gives us something to think about!

Scientists also suggests that people like my Dad, who have trouble getting through 8 hours sleep, may have a faulty gene. There is a gene for everything in humans - a gene for speech and language, a gene to say whether we'll get hairy fingers or not, a gene to determin hair colour and so on - so who's to say there's not one for how much sleep you require? It's every bit possible.

By Daniella Wood

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    • profile image

      collegecareerlife 7 years ago

      I've suffered from insomnia since college. I'm amazed at how great I feel after only a few hours of uninterrupted sleep. For me, quality of sleep is just as important as quantity.

    • DaniellaWood profile image
      Author

      DaniellaWood 7 years ago from England

      Aw, I'm sorry. Is there any medication you can take for insomnia if you don't mind my asking? And yes, that's a very good point - quality not quantity. Sleeping right through is great if you can do it, but they say everyone gets 'broken sleep' every night - that's something we can't help.

    • profile image

      collegecareerlife 7 years ago

      I've tried sleeping medication but one side effect is next-day drowsiness, which defeats the purpose of the medication. Luckily, I've gotten several hours of continuous sleep most nights for the past several months. I just hope the insomnia doesn't return.

    • Papa Sez profile image

      Papa Sez 7 years ago from The Philippines to Canada

      Hi DaniellaWood,

      Quality is more important than quantity, this is emphasized in my wife's blog about natural immunity builders. Check out #5 (Restful Sleep) of this http://parents-journey.blogspot.com/2009/10/top-6-... and the reference within.

      This hub is a nice read. Thanks.

    • floating mind profile image

      floating mind 7 years ago from Chicago, Illinois

      Nice hub. Everyone has a sleep pattern all their own. I sleep for 5 hours each day with a quick 15 to 20 minute nap by mid-day. Somewhere between the 30th to 45th day, I will sleep from 10 to 15 hours for just one day, then back to my 5 hour days. It keeps me going strong.

    • DaniellaWood profile image
      Author

      DaniellaWood 7 years ago from England

      Yeah, Collegecareerlife, that's not good. But my fingers are crossed that you keep having a good night's sleep. They say even keeping a positive attitude to things like this can prevent ill sleep - if you say you wake up every night, you usually do because you've convinced your mind it will!

      Thanks very much Papa Sez, I'll check that out.

      And floating mind, how interesting! That just goes to show that it's just specific for every individual.

    • AdsenseStrategies profile image

      AdsenseStrategies 7 years ago from CONTACT ME at Adsensibilities@gmail.com

      This is the second hub I have found of yours where I have written a hub on the same (or a similar) topic...

    • Cleanclover profile image

      Cleanclover 7 years ago from Piece of land!

      Sleep as much as your body wants. Your body is clearing up the backlog of the hours you were awake. * hours of sleep is at par and minimum required everyday. I sleep for 8-9 hours daily.

      Thank you for the hub our views match.

    • DaniellaWood profile image
      Author

      DaniellaWood 7 years ago from England

      Glad to know my hubs are inspiring for you AdsenseStrategies! I shall have a read of them :)

      I agree, Cleanclover, it all depends on the individual.

      Thanks for your comments, Daniella

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