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The health risks of getting less than 5 hours of sleep

When it comes to sleep duration, insomnia sufferers often put far too much pressure on themselves to get the mythical 8 hours of sleep.

All this does is make sleep harder to come by.

Our bodies only really need about 5.5 hours of sleep each night. This is known as 'core sleep'.

Of course, more than 5.5 hours of sleep is optimal - but we can survive on core sleep alone.

We only really see serious health consequences when we get less than the required core sleep on a regular basis.

Yet, even then, any increased health risks are often down to sleep deprivation being combined with other pre-existing health issues.

One study recently found that those who get 5 hours or less sleep each night are 2.73 times more likely to develop cancer.

However, after depression was controlled for, researchers found no significant increase in the risk factor for cancer - even in those regularly getting fewer than 5 hours of sleep each night.

One way we can all improve our sleep is to stop putting pressure on ourselves to fall asleep within a certain amount of time and to sleep for a specific length of time.

You actually need a lot less sleep than you think.

Source: Internal Medicine News

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Last updated: August 14, 2014

This Article Was Written By

Martin Reed

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