June 20, 2018

Chances are that you aren't getting the right amount of sleep or at least not the amount that would help you finally feel rested. Waking up without sleep inertia, that groggy feeling is all a matter of timing, but waking up feeling rested and recovered is another thing completely.

How much is it worth to be able to have peak performance during your most productive hours instead of just slogging through?

Recent research suggests that the old thinking about eight hours being the best with more than eight being even better may be wrong for most of us. The studies just coming out recently have the benefit of larger data sets, meaning the results are more accurate than some of the older studies.

Tying sleep to performance and health has lead scientists to think that seven hours may be just about the right number for most people. Most of the people studied the showed their optimal amount to be anywhere from 6.5 to 7.4 hours, with the lowest morbidity and mortality rates coming at seven.

Performance Increases and Decreases

Since sleep cycles are right around 90 minutes in length, consulting the sleep calculator tables shows that 7.5 hours is right at five complete cycles. One more cycle will result in 9 complete hours which will be far too much for most adults but would be the right amount for teenagers, youngsters and individuals with health issues.

Getting too much sleep, known as oversleeping, could actually be hurting your health and possibly diminishing your mental performance the next day.

Not getting enough sleep, even as little as 20 minutes too little, can affect your mental abilities through out the day. If you don't get that 20 minutes several nights in row, this is called "partial sleep deprivation" and it has been shown to reduce attentiveness and vigilance.

Getting more that 8 hours also starts to hurt, particularly if chronic.

Oversleeping has been linked with increased risk of death. (Reader take note that oversleeping is linked to diabetes, obesity and heart disease but correlation isn't causation). The worse news is that chronic oversleeping is just as bad for your memory in the short and long terms as under sleeping.

Both groups of individuals plagued by bad sleep are shown to be mental aged by two additional year by the time they are older. Getting the right amount of sleep is the key to not feeling old mentally before your time has come!

How to Take Advantage of this Information

If you are wondering how you can use this information to improve your sleep, it isn't that difficult but it will take a few days to determine how much sleep you need. This process basically involves waking naturally on several days, taking note of bed and wake times then finding the average amount of sleep required.

Once you determine your particular needed amount of sleep, then consult the sleep calculator table your average sleep time. This will help you get the right amount of sleep during the days you can't wake naturally and will also help reduce the sleep inertia you feel.

"I don't think you can overdose on healthy sleep. When you get enough sleep your body will wake you up," said Safwan Badr, head of sleep medicine at Wayne State University School of Medicine in Detroit.

Once you wake up the first time on your own, just go ahead and get out of bed even if the alarm hasn't gone off. You aren't going to feel any more well rested but you could feel worse!

If you are able to get your optimal amount of sleep on a consistent basis you may find your health improving for the better in the short and long terms. Minor problems seem to turn into bigger problems as we get older and we can take care of some of them just by getting the right amount of sleep.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3687527/ - The largest human cognitive performance dataset reveals insights into the effects of lifestyle factors and aging