What is the minimum amount of sleep required...?

... what is the minimum amount of sleep needed on a regular basis in order to function properly and/or required to maintain physical and mental health?

I was wondering because it is sometimes "normal" for me to sleep 5 hours or less, especially when I am busy.

If I sleep less than 5 hours a night, is it possible to "catch up" on my sleep later to make up the difference? Can a person sleep less than 5 hours a night without having a negative impact upon ones health?

Thanks!

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  • 9 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    Only three answers so I actually read them instead of skimming them (most people incorrectly use "scan." Scan means to examine closely, line by line, point by point, letter by letter if need be.) Had someone else given you a good answer, I would have gone on. I have weeks of unopened email that the Yamster would not let me open, now I am playing ketchup.

    You fit the term "healthy insomniac." I have gone for months on three hours a night with four to six fifteen minute to half an hour naps scattered throughout the day. Unfortunately, right now I seem to be on the opposite side. Short version: had a female stalker that tried to kill me twice, but it was what she did when she was NOT violent that left me with pretty severe PTSD. Nothing ever bothered me before, but looking back, I experienced a severe trauma that lasted for close to two years. Medication was recently prescribed for a condition I kept saying I did not have (anxiety) but family talked me into trying it. Now I am trying to recover from the trauma of medication that was vastly unneeded. And I am left still dealing with still not having anxiety. ;-}

    But back to. Unless you are atypical, you go through sleep cycles of 90 minutes. If you cannot get at least three contiguous cycles, you need to set an alarm so that you will complete one or two full cycles. If you have ever been awakened and felt worse than when you went to sleep or felt as though you were in a dream, it was because you were awakened in the midst of a sleep cycle. If you cannot get even one full cycle and you are sleepy, you might be better off staying awake for a while longer.

    Can you power nap? I can, literally, go to sleep, be dreaming and wake up on my own in three minutes, feeling greatly refreshed. I did not know I could do that until I was about 30, and then discovered it accidentally. But if pressed, I can go for 2 or 3 days with no sleep at all, then 5 minutes sleep about every hour will keep me going for anywhere from a couple of days more to as many as five days. Then I crash for 10 to 12 hours. At least I could do that when I was in my thirties. Once, in an emergency situation, I worked for almost 60 hours straight operating some dangerous equipment and had no problem staying alert. Had I ever had any doubts, emergency or not, I would have shut it down and then shut me down for a while.

    Supposedly you do not "catch up" on missed sleep. Instead, what happens is you go more quickly through the lighter stages of sleep and spend longer in "REM" sleep, the deepest stage. (REM is Rapid Eye Movement.)

    Supposedly you cannot dream when you are not in REM stage, so my dreaming and waking up in less than 180 seconds indicates I almost instantly went from awake to REM and back to awake. But I suspect that the belief you dream only in REM sleep one day will be proven false. Could visual, auditory or tactile hallucinations be nothing more than dreaming when you are awake?

    But though it is claimed you do not catch up on sleep, as far as nutritional benefit, does it matter if you dissolve a vitamin tablet in water and drink it, or take it and drink the water later? To me, getting a higher percent REM sleep is getting the same amount of sleep, just getting it concentrated. There have been enough studies done that would leave me believing that going even a few months occasionally less sleep would cause no harm, as long as you feel rested and refreshed. Each person is different, but I think you have nothing to worry about.

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  • cather
    Lv 4
    3 years ago

    Minimum Hours Of Sleep

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  • albelo
    Lv 4
    3 years ago

    Minimum Amount Of Sleep

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  • 9 years ago

    Ideally, you should get a minimum of 6 hours of sleep every night, while getting 8 or even 9 is much preferable... but that the "minimum" amount of sleep necessary depends on what kind of tasks you wish to perform during the day, and how your body works.

    Distinguishing the minimum amount of sleep necessary is not precise, as this really depends on the individual. Getting only four hours of sleep for a prolonged period of time may, however, really wear down your system, leading to illness, general fatigue and other health problems..

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  • 9 years ago

    You can not catch up on sleep. As for the minimum amount of hours required it depends on your age. If you are older than 18 the minimum should be about 6 or 7 hours, if you are less than 18 years old the minimum should be about ten hours of sleep.

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  • 9 years ago

    I'd think you'd have enough sense to google this but no point in saying that now, lol.

    Uh, I think 8 or more hours is the best but 5 hours is fine too, Minimum I would have to say is 6 but it really does depend on the person, since some people get by with just 3 hours of sleep.

    It depends on you, although I recommend at least 6 hours of sleep, I guess you could make up for it later.

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  • Anonymous
    5 years ago

    This Site Might Help You.

    RE:

    What is the minimum amount of sleep required...?

    ... what is the minimum amount of sleep needed on a regular basis in order to function properly and/or required to maintain physical and mental health?

    I was wondering because it is sometimes "normal" for me to sleep 5 hours or less, especially when I am busy.

    If I sleep less than 5...

    Source(s): minimum amount sleep required: https://biturl.im/FiepY
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  • 9 years ago

    It really varies with the individual & their age, as well as current stress level & state of health.

    It is said to be anywhere from 5 to 10 hours with 71/2 being the average.

    Young people need more sleep than the elderly, with children needing the most.

    Below is a link to some information on sleep cycles & dreams.

    Many Blessings!

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  • flip
    Lv 6
    9 years ago

    I get around 6 and have done for last 10 yrs or so - I know it is affecting my health. I would say 7-8 hours are a minimum for lasting good health. On 6 hours I need a Nana nap to feel "normal". In general it is recommended 8 hours for adults. 9-12 hours for adolescents.

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  • Anonymous
    9 years ago

    As a trauma doctor I see a lot of patients come in with serious injuries and the primary reason for most of the cases an altered Reticular Activating System (RAS). RAS is responsible for altering your conscious state of mind so that you can sleep. Sleep by definition is an altered state of consciousness or reality. When you continuously lack adequate sleep then this system will become altered in response to your bodies conditions. Your body will then alter normal and healthy processes in order to compensate for your lack of sleep so that you may still be able to be conscious and react to things.

    5 hours a night is not going to be detrimental to your health as long as it is not chronic. Your body absolutely requires sleep in order to repair itself and recharge its batteries. You can never really "catch up" on your lack of sleep. Sleeping at night at least 7 to 9 hours is recomended. The best hours of sleep you get based on sleep studies is the hours prior to midnight. That is when your REM (Rapid Eye Movement) cycle is most effective and in stage 4 of the cycle which means a deep sleep.

    The more sleep you miss out on the more vulnerable you are to fighting off infections as your immune system never has time to rest and overworks itself. Cardiovascular problems are another issue because your heart will overwork itself as well which can lead to Congestive Heart Failure, Renal Failure or another common problem of Left Ventricular Hypertrophy.

    Your body needs sleep and taking naps can help but won't cut it. You need to sleep more than 5 hours a night. Talk to your physician because it could be a medical problem that is causing you to lose sleep at night. If not then you should really prioritize your schedule to fit more time in to sleep.

    Hope this information was helpful.

    Source:

    I'm a Doctor

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