An estimated 50-70 million adults in the U.S. have some type of sleep or wakefulness disorder, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). With a multitude of adverse health effects, insufficient shut-eye is an important public health concern.
But the quantity is not all that matters. You can be in bed for 15 hours, but if you wake up every 20 minutes, you won’t be rested at all. This would be considered as less sleep than someone who laid in bed undisturbed for six hours.
Why the body falls asleep may still be a mystery but one thing is clear: People should not go without it. Sleep deprivation affects one’s overall health more severely than simply feeling grumpy in the mornings.
How many hours of sleep do you really need? Eight is not the magic number. In fact, there is no one number that fits all. You need as many hours as you do. Some people, depending on age, lifestyle and habits, function just fine after 6 hours of sleep while others need at least 10. How much sleep people need varies with every person and is also genetically determined.