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Is 6 hours of sleep enough?

Sleep Science
October 25, 2022

Getting enough sleep is vital to our overall health, with sleep performing different functions for our body and mind over the course of a night. When we sleep, essential body repair takes place and our brain processes memories and emotions. 

Everybody’s sleep is different and how much is needed varies from person to person. However, most adults need between 7 to 9 hours to feel their best. 

We all have times where we sleep better or worse depending on what’s happening in our lives and the environment around us.

Continual sleep loss, where you may not be getting enough sleep over a series of days or weeks, is often called sleep debt and is thought to have a cumulative negative effect on our health and mood.

When we sleep, we cycle through different phases of sleep over the course of a night. As we get older, we tend to wake more easily and certain stages of sleep, such as deep sleep, reduce in length.

The stages of sleep

Below you can see what happens in each stage of sleep:

• Core sleep: You typically spend about half of your night in core sleep, also known as light sleep or NREM 1 and 2. It’s thought to be an important stage for memory formation. When you enter core sleep, your body relaxes and your temperature drops.

• Deep sleep: Deep sleep is important for processing memories and emotions, as well as for growth and repair of the body. It is typical to have more periods of deep sleep during the first half of your night.

REM stands: REM stands for Rapid Eye Movement and is sometimes called “dream sleep”. Your brain is almost as active as when you are awake. REM is important for memory and learning, and you typically have more REM during the second half of the night.

Awake: It is normal to wake up during the night. Some awakenings are so small that you won’t even remember them happening.  

How to wake up feeling refreshed

One of the best ways to work out how much sleep you need is by listening to your body and observing when you function at your best.

Sleepwave helps you keep track of your sleep and builds a picture of your patterns over time. Each morning you can rate your previous night's sleep and over time discover a routine that works for you.

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