4 hours of sleep: is that really enough?

4 hours of sleep
Is that enough?

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Some people claim that 4 hours of sleep is enough to keep them fit. But can that actually be healthy? Find out here!

4 hours of sleep – that's enough for some people

Some people are special when it comes to sleep: so-called Short sleepers usually get by on 4 hours of sleep per night – and are still completely fit and productive during the day. Those affected often cannot sleep longer than a maximum of six hours, even if they wanted to. Why some people are short sleepers has not yet been conclusively clarified. However, initial research suggests that a certain DNA sequence looks different in them than in people who tend to sleep between seven and eight hours.

If we all only had to sleep 4 hours, we would of course have more time during the day. That is exactly what one could also direct against us – For example, companies could get the idea that we should then also work more. A classic example of how something that sounds good at first doesn't always have to be good.

How much sleep do i need

Although the need for sleep varies from person to person, most people need between seven and eight hours of sleep in order to be productive. According to a study by the Techniker Krankenkasse In Germany around 60 percent of all people over the age of 18 sleep between six and seven hours. 17 percent of the respondents stated that they can get by on five hours of sleep a night. However, there is one restriction here: the examination did not ask whether the person affected actually felt fit and healthy after the five hours. So it is possible that some study participants of these 17 percent actually need to sleep more, but do not want or cannot.

How do I know how much to sleep?

The easiest way to find out your individual sleep needs is to observe yourself. First and foremost, sleep should be restful – This means that you should get out of bed easily in the morning and be concentrated and productive all day. Those who suffer from fatigue regularly during the day should sleep more.

Does a midday nap make sense?

For a good night's sleep, some people also rely on napping at noon. In fact, a so-called power nap can have advantages – one study shows, for example, that taking one or two naps a week can reduce the risk of a heart attack or stroke by up to 48 percent. However, you should note that the time you spend with your power nap must be deducted from the length of sleep at night.

Only 4 hours of sleep? Tips against insomnia

Who does not belong to the short sleepers, but you should try the following tips:

  • Switch off stress: Those who take their worries to bed with them often just toss and turn around at night and constantly stare at the clock. Relaxation techniques such as autogenic training or meditation can help switch off and make it easier to fall asleep.
  • Light meal: Large and heavy meals in the evening put a strain on digestion and can lead to poor sleep. Therefore, it is better to rely on light meals and consume them at least three hours before bed.
  • Find your sleep rhythm: In order for us to have a functioning sleep-wake rhythm, we should always go to sleep and get up at the same time – even on the weekend, even if it is difficult.
  • Get up again: Experts recommend not staying in bed if you have been awake for more than 15 to 20 minutes and cannot sleep. Because then the brain can begin to perceive the bed no longer as a place to sleep, but only as a place to relax. Better: Get up and do a monotonous activity until you get tired again, where you don't have to think a lot – for example sorting laundry.
  • Ban media: Both cell phones and televisions emit blue-wave light that can interfere with the release of the sleep hormone melatonin. Therefore, both devices should be banned from the bedroom. Ideally, they should be switched off at least an hour before bedtime so that the body can shut down.

Reading tips: You can find out everything about tiredness after eating here. We explain here what you should know about changing the clock and about sleep hygiene.

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