It’s a common myth that you should get an average of eight hours per sleep cycle. However, does anyone actually get that many?
If a student has to get eight hours of sleep every day to succeed, then it’s fair to say that a majority of us would probably be failing.
It’s pretty unrealistic to get more than eight hours of sleep every night. Most people, especially students, don’t have time to get all those hours of sleep into their schedule.
A Student’s schedule typically involves having classes for half of the day, work for some, homework and other responsibilities. Getting at least six hours of sleep seems like a luxury at the end of the day.
Even when getting a full night’s rest, you often feel like you still haven’t gotten enough sleep. You’re just as exhausted the next day. Then, there are other times when you get five hours of sleep and have a boost of energy that makes you feel alive enough to go through the day.
A sleep cycle isn’t just about the number of hours of sleep you get. Another factor to it is sleeping habits.
If you’re getting only about three hours of sleep every night, then it’s safe to say you should get more sleep. Additionally, if you’re not getting the full eight hours, then it’s not like you will crash and be sleep deprived because you haven’t gotten enough sleep.
Without getting too scientific, everyone has this alarm clock inside of them that will set them up to be active or inactive during different times of the day, despite how many hours they got the night before.
In an article published by the National Sleep Foundation, it explains how this process called the circadian rhythm has certain times when you feel tired in a day.
“The circadian rhythm dips and rises at different times of the day, so adults’ strongest sleep drive generally occurs between 2-4 a.m. and in the afternoon between 1-3 p.m. The circadian rhythm also causes us to feel more alert at certain points of the day, even if we have been awake for hours and our sleep/wake restorative process would otherwise make us feel more sleepy.”
This explains why when pulling an all-nighter, you feel sleepy at 2 a.m. but then start to feel more awake at 6 a.m. This is it waking you up to when you would usually start waking up in the morning.
A lot of people run on less than eight hours a day and manage to get things done. As long as students have a relatively consistent sleeping schedule where they’re waking up and going to sleep at the same times every day, and it has them feeling refreshed the next morning, then eight hours a night is not crucial to success.