Is it more important quality or quantity of sleep? Is it better to get 7 or 8 hours of poor quality disturbed sleep or to get 6 hours of high quality undisturbed sleep?
If I´m not wrong on a las post we talked about why it´s better to get 6 hours of high quality sleep than to get 7 hours of poor seep. We can´t deny that both matters, quality and quantity are both important, but, there are some points we need to consider.
The quantity of sleep each of us need varies, babies and kids need more sleep while adults need less. Some people do need to get 7 to 8 hours of sleep while others may just need 6 hours. This varies for many reasons, circadian rhythm, chronotype, lifestyle.
There´s no reason to get 7 hours of sleep if those 7 hours or poor quality, it´s better to get 6 hours of high quality sleep. With quantity too much or too little sleep are both a problem, more than 9 hours of sleep and less than 6 hours of sleep both have negative impacts on health, you can see those short-term negative impact right the next day. You feel tired, it´s harder to focus on the task at hand, you don´t perform as best as you can, cravings for unhealthy food increase, you eat more. This happen also when you 9 hours or more of sleep (considering you haven´t gone through a night of poor or lack of sleep), for some reason you don´t feel as great as you should imagined after getting that much sleep.
Even when experts and most people say that we all need 7 to 8 hours of sleep this is not completely true, knowing your sleep chronotype is key to knowing at what time is better for you to sleep and how much sleep you actually need. Dr. Michael Breus is talking about all this better than anyone else.
You might now by now if you like to go to sleep early and wake up early in the morning or if you prefer to go to sleep later at night and wake up later in the morning. You might also know if you feel more energetic and able to concentrate in the morning or if you find it easier to work and concentrate later in the day.
Even when nature has a rhythm or cycle and we all need to work according to it, we all have some moments when we feel more energized and focus and this has an impact on our daily schedule.
Nowadays it´s hard for us to get those 7 to 8 hours that most experts recommend to finding our chronotype is very helpful, although the problem with this is that most of us have a 9 to 5 job or go to school so it´s hard to fit our internal clock and when we feel more energetic, when we are able to concentrate and perform better with the demands and hours of school and work.
To keep things simple most of us will get great benefits and feel great by getting 6 hours of high quality of sleep, if we consider that each sleep cycle last around 90 minutes with 6 hours of sleep we´re getting 4 complete cycles, most people feel way better when they wake up after a completing a cycle than when they wake up in the middle of one. Now we need to make sure that those 6 hours are the best quality possible, you can do this by creating a sleeping schedule and routine as we´ve mentioned in other posts and try to use your chronotype as a guide, if you can make it fit with your daily lifestyle that´s way to go, otherwise try to make it as close as possible. If you know you can concentrate and perform better in the morning try to make the hardest task in the morning, if you know you work better at noon or late afternoon try to make the activities that require more concentration at that time.
If you know someone who could benefit from this post please share it with them and don´t forget to follow us on Twitter.