Tired of hearing about how important it is to get enough sleep? The problem is that even though you think you're getting an adequate amount, it might not be enough. Fast Company recently released a new study published in the journal Sleep that reveals shocking results about just how many hours you need to clock in overnight in order to function optimally the next day.
The study looked at the sleeping patterns of 48 adults over the course of two weeks by restricting each group's amount of sleep to a maximum of four, six, or eight hours a night, with one group being forced to stay awake for three straight days. Six hours might seem like a standard (or for some, even a pretty good) amount of sleep, right? Well, the findings revealed that those who got six hours of sleep per night functioned as poorly as the subjects who received none at all. The group who received eight hours performed the best on the cognitive tests (including mood and symptom evaluations) that were administered every two hours, unless the group was sleeping of course.
The other interesting takeaway from the research suggests that we have no idea how much sleep we're actually getting per night; the six-hour group seemed to be in denial about their sleepiness level when tested. Other research mentioned in the article backs this theory—a study from the University of Chicago provides that people are as likely to overestimate how much they sleep as underestimate it. Knowing what we know about how much a couple hours difference makes (when it comes to six and eight hours), it's important to be diligent about getting to bed at a reasonable hour and doing everything you can to give yourself the best chance at eight hours.
Head over to Fast Company to learn more about the results from the sleep deprivation study, and pick up some of this pretty chamomile tea from Bellocq to help you settle down for some shut-eye. Be sure to check out the 13 items every woman should have on her nightstand to help you boost your beauty rest, as well.
How many hours of sleep do you get per night? Tell us in the comments below.