Sleep is essential for overall health and wellbeing, however, the long-standing tradition of eight hours of sleep each night has been an ongoing debate for many years. While eight hours of sleep is commonly recommended, some studies suggest that this may not ultimately be the optimal amount for everyone. In this blog, I will explore the pros and cons of the eight hours of sleep theory to help evaluate its validity and provide insight into whether or not this so-called ‘myth’ is accurate.
From a scientific standpoint, many studies suggest that the average adult needs seven to nine hours of sleep each night to function effectively in daily life. Research also shows that the amount of sleep needed varies from person to person – some may need as many as nine hours or as little as five. Nevertheless, the National Sleep Foundation recommends seven to nine hours for adults aged 26 to 64.
So does this mean that eight hours of sleep is a myth? Based on the scientific evidence, it is difficult to make a clear verdict. On the one hand, aiming for at least seven to nine hours a night allows your body to get the rest it needs to be productive and focused throughout the day. On the other hand, there are certain advantages to sleeping less than eight hours. For example, some research suggests that sleeping fewer hours can be beneficial in certain circumstances, such as when a person has an extremely tiring day or needs a boost of energy.
Moreover, some studies show that sleeping too much can also have a negative effect on your overall health. Oversleeping has been linked to a higher risk of stroke, heart disease and other medical conditions, as well as mental health issues such as depression. This could be because sleeping for longer than eight hours can have an adverse effect on the internal body clock, or circadian rhythm.
In conclusion, the validity of the eight hours of sleep theory remains unclear. While some research suggests that seven to nine hours of sleep provides the optimal amount for most adults, this does not necessarily mean that eight hours is the golden rule. Ultimately, the best approach is to listen to your body and take into account any changes in your sleeping patterns or needs.