Is it possible to function on less sleep?

“Deliberately cutting back on your sleep is not at all recommended. In fact, it can be dangerous to sleep less than necessary. What is more important than the hours of sleep you get, is the quality. If you are already getting great quality sleep then cutting back on the hours won’t reset your sleeping patterns in the way you might want it to.”

With our modern living, the sleep you do get is more often than not bad sleep, and it does nothing to fulfil your need for rest. If anything it does more damage. But although technically getting 8 hours of sleep is the ideal, there are certainly ways that you can function properly on less sleep. Think of new parents and the wonders that they are able to achieve when they are not getting the optimal amount of sleep.

Although your body can be trained to function effectively on less sleep, this is not something for everybody. In fact, there are more people who’d like to sleep less than who actually need to sleep less. Regardless of how you view sleep, one thing remains the same: Sleep is important!

Sleep is far more important than trying to cram more working hours into your day, however there are ways that you can temporarily alter your sleeping hours.
Sleep is far more important than trying to cram more working hours into your day, however there are ways that you can temporarily alter your sleeping hours.

Depending on your age and your body, you are probably one of the many people who will need between 7 and 9 hours of sleep each night. This is just the right amount of sleep to feel fully functional each day. The brain needs these hours of sleep to repair itself and to get rid of the day’s buildup of toxins. And if you suddenly cut your hours of shut-eye, your body will definitely know!

A lack of sleep can be like being intoxicated. The body and the mind aren’t focused and when you are sleep deprived you could be a danger behind the wheel, let alone have trouble thinking in the office. Research done in the UK to reduce sleeping hours but still, function optimally showed that over time, people could survive well on just 6.5 hours of sleep. If you already feel as though your sleeping hours are not enough, please DO NOT REDUCE YOUR SLEEPING HOURS FURTHER!

However, there are some known benefits associated with sleeping fewer hours

It is not all doom and gloom to cut back on your sleep. Here are a few ways that your body can actually benefit:

  • It can improve your mood when your hormones are affected.
  • After a few nights of less sleep, you will improve your sleep continuity which will improve your quality of sleep

Keep in mind that there are people who naturally function well on less sleep.

Is it your goal to have less sleep but still wake up feeling fresh?

Prepare Body and Mind

First of all, you need to prepare your mind and body and to do that, you need to increase your quality of sleep. We’re aiming for a good sleep in a short duration. Exercise will help you build up the overall strength and stamina, which will be required when you have less sleep. Ditch substances like alcohol, nicotine and caffeine; things like these mess up your sleep schedule and reduce the quality of sleep as well. Make a routine and stick with it, if you have to be in bed at 11, then you better be there. And make sure that your bedroom is a sleep-friendly environment.

Easy does it

Cutting back on sleep is a conscious decision that requires a healthy approach. Be sure to always make your health your biggest priority.
Cutting back on sleep is a conscious decision that requires a healthy approach. Be sure to always make your health your biggest priority.

We will be making small changes instead of big ones right off the bat. Once you have implemented the aforementioned changes, it is time to start shaving off time from your sleep duration. Reduce your sleep duration gradually; shave off 20 minutes, to begin with. Do that the first week, and for the second reduce it by another 20 minutes, same for the third and for the fourth move your sleep schedule back by one hour. Be patient, your body will take the time to adjust. You’ll face fatigue in the beginning, but you should persevere.

Take care by knowing the risks

Under no circumstance should you sleep less than 5 and a half hours, on a whole, every day! Stop shaving off time when you reach this mark, keep it constant at this stage. Also, you may want to look for ill health effects, such as:

  • Increased hunger
  • Changes in weight
  • Loss of short term memory
  • Impulsive behaviors
  • Poor motor skills
  • Changes in skin
  • Blurred vision

If these pop-up, stop immediately and return to your previous sleep schedule. And also keep in mind, that even though you may be able to sleep less, it is going to be extremely hard to keep up long-term. Your body needs those 8 hours for a reason, you may be able to do it at the start but eventually, you will need to return to sleeping 8 hours a day.

Should you already be getting through everything you need to do during the day, then you have no need to reduce your sleeping hours. Taking such drastic measures to reduce sleep is not recommended.

To get the right amount of quality sleep, your other option is to buy a new bed. The beds for sale at The Mattress Warehouse can improve the quality of your sleep by giving you the comfort you are looking for. Have a look through our beds for sale to find the ideal bed for your sleep needs.