You are currently viewing Is 5 hours of sleep enough?
  • Post category:Sleep
  • Reading time:8 mins read

Sleep is an integral part of our daily routine. To function correctly and ensure a better quality of life, it’s important to have enough sleep. Research has proven that lack of sleep can interfere with one’s verbal and reasoning skills. But just how much sleep is enough sleep? Sleep requirements for a person can vary depending on the person’s age and activity level. But a general recommendation would be to get 7-8 hours of sleep every night.

Is it ok to sleep 5 hours?

At times, our hectic schedule makes it near impossible for us to go to bed on time. 5 hours of sleep at night isn’t nearly enough for a person. According to medical experts, teenagers, young adults, and adults need 7-9 hours of sleep every night. A good rule of thumb is, that if you are hoping to nap for a while in the daytime, you are most likely not getting enough sleep at night. 

As per, sleep scientists, a nap should be limited to 10-30 minutes only. If one is getting an adequate amount of sleep at night, naps are unnecessary. To make up for rare sleep-less nights though, it’s alright to take long naps during the day.

It’s also important to remember that every person is different. So if you feel like you can stay alert throughout the day and don’t feel tired easily, even while only sleeping for 5 hours at night, then probably 5 hours is all you need. 

Is Sleeping 5 Hours Better Than Sleeping Than 8?

Short answer? No. Long answer? Also no but read ahead to know why.

According to the verified data showing the amount of sleep a person needs depends on their age range, sleeping 5 hours is similar to getting 8 hours of sleep. It’s also proven that it’s extremely uncommon for any human being to need less than 6 hours of sleep at night. However, strangely some people feel more energized after sleeping for 5 hours than sleeping for longer hours. So why is that?

A possible explanation is provided by the sleep cycle analogy. Normally, a person goes through 4-6 sleep cycles a night. The composition and period of each cycle typically change as the night progresses. The human body cycles through two phases, REM and NREM sleep. The latter can be further divided into 3 stages. However, this article doesn’t plan on delving deeper into the mechanism of sleep cycles. 

What it intends to do is to answer exactly how many hours of sleep one needs to wake up refreshed based on the time of sleep cycles. In the last half of the night, the NREM phase gets shorter and shorter whereas the REM Phase gets longer and longer. After around 5 hours, one is most likely in the REM phase of sleep. In this phase, the muscles are relaxed and it’s easy to wake up. Since it’s usually the time when a sleep cycle ends, you will be waking up refreshed. But, your body needs to go through 5 sleep cycles typically which takes 7-8 hours.

So, if you feel groggy or tired during active hours, now you know why.

What Will Happen If You Sleep Only 5 Hours Per Day?

Various studies in the U.S. have found that sleeping for 6 hours or less in a day can seriously affect one’s health. It can cause issues such as fatigue, irritability, weak immune system, etc. 

If you sleep only 5 hours per day, you have probably experienced some of the below-mentioned symptoms. 

  • Lack Of Alertness:- Constant yawning, tiredness, fatigue, and difficulty in focusing on work.
  • Poor Immune System:- Lack of enough sleep can cause one’s immune system to weaken. This makes one more prone to infections, leading to a longer time required for the body to heal completely. 
  • Health Risk:- In the long run, sleep deprivation can lead to heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and brain diminishing. 
  • Weight Gain:-  Some people’s jobs don’t require them to stay physically active. In case you fall into the category, sleeping for lesser hours is going to make you gain weight. This can result in obesity. 

Why Do You Wake Up After 5 Hours Of Sleep?

If you can’t sleep for more than 4-5 hours at night, you most likely suffer from either sleep deprivation or insomnia. In case you have trouble falling asleep, chances are it’s the latter. However, if you can fall asleep easily but wake up in the middle of the night you are most likely suffering from sleep deprivation. 

There can be a myriad of reasons behind this.

  • We, human beings have circadian rhythms. These rhythms are nothing but our internal 24 hours biological clocks. This clock causes different hormones to release at different times. Combined with the REM sleep stage, it can cause you to wake up after specific hours. 
  • High-stress levels can be correlated to a lack of sleep. If this is a recent phenomenon then you probably just need to relax more and get rid of stressful thoughts.
  • If you do not have a proper sleep schedule or a fixed bedtime, then that could also be the reason behind you waking up in the middle of the night. 

How To Sleep Longer Than 5 Hours?

There are a few things you can do yourself to get an unhinged sleep at night. 

  1. Make A Sleep Schedule –  Try to go to bed at a fixed time regularly. Do the same for waking up.
  2. Light Dinner – Don’t have heavy food for dinner. Try to have something light before going to sleep. This doesn’t cause your digestive system to get worked up. In return, you get to sleep peacefully without being disturbed by acid reflux.
  3. Limit Electronics Use – Give your eyes a break from the bright screen. Don’t use any gadgets or electronic devices 1 hour before your bedtime. Alternatively, you can try reading books.
  4. Keep Yourself Active – During the day make sure to move around enough. 20 minutes of moderate exercise in the afternoon will be quite helpful.

More people think 5 hours of sleep is enough due to being used to it. More often than not, it just leads to burnout. To avoid this, get 7-8 hours of sleep every night. Here are some simple tips to get good sleep.