Is The Eight Hours of Sleep Rule a Myth?

Compared to the 1950s, people in the modern world sleep less. This is not forgetting the fact that life has become even more demanding and stressful over the past half-century.


With this in mind, it is easy to see why more people are stressed as their lives have been taken over by things such as work.


The normal understanding of sufficient sleep is that people should get at least 8 hours of sleep a night. Many people will argue, especially the workaholics that they work perfectly with between 6 and 7 hours of sleep.


However, what most people fail to factor in is the effect this has on their overall productivity. The interesting thing is that people who do not get at least eight hours of sleep yet say that they function just fine may not even be aware that they lack sufficient sleep in the first place. But there is plenty of information that is now coming out from the scientific community that seems to say that sleeping for over 8 hours is actually not natural for humans.


There is an argument that even while humans can end up having eight hours of sleep, they used to sleep in two chunks where they would first sleep for 4 hours, get up and after some time go back to sleep for the next four hours, give or take.


Simply put, eight hours can be thought of as how much sleep we need in a day.


The truth is that how much sleep anyone needs really comes down to their age and overall health.


For instance, a newborn requires anywhere between 14and 17 hours of sleep. Children ages 6to 12 years will need around 9 to 11 hours of sleep per day. As for adults, there are some, who as we saw earlier will get by with as little as six hours while others will get by with as much as 10 hours.


One thing to keep in mind is that very little sleep can place us at risk of some serious health issues such as obesity, heart disease and compromise our mental wellness. For proper body function and health, humans should get at least 7 hours of sleep.

The interesting part about the 8-hour sleep The human body is not designed to sleep for seven to eight hours continuously with no interruptions.


Instead, we are more adept at sleeping in two blocks called bi-phasic sleep.


The Spanish for instance practice bi-phasic sleeping.

While they may be thought of as lazy, they actually put in more hours at work than other Europeans.


This can be all the evidence that one needs that sleeping naturally can help improve productivity. The idea of having straight 68 hours of sleep may have likely come about during the industrial revolution where it was more efficient for industries when workers slept for 8 hours straight.


What you can do


Start by developing a pre-sleep routine

We humans are very good at scheduling our day-to-day lives.

But we often fall short of scheduling our sleeping times.

Set 8 hours apart from your day and use them for your sleep.

Divide these 8 hours into blocks if you so prefer to go back to a more natural sleeping pattern.


Final thoughts

While modern life comes with plenty of demands, people also have more control of their lives and they can choose to get sufficient amounts of sleep.

While 8 hours is a good figure to work with, you can do even better by splitting your sleep into blocks of4 hours to go back to a more natural rhythm


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