One of the most common myths is that some people can get by on five hours or fewer of sleep, Dr. Robbins said. They think that they'll be able to maintain good health overall, which "of course, is a myth," she clarified. "Evidence shows resoundingly that we do need at least seven hours of sleep for optimal health and wellness." The American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM) and Sleep Research Society (SRS) recommend that adults sleep at least seven hours per night.
The paper says that while there is some preliminary evidence showing some people can function well on less than the recommended hours of sleep, constantly getting five hours or less can increase your chances of cardiovascular disease and early mortality. And, it's also important to note that sleeping too much may be an indication that there's an underlying health concern.
Dr. Robbins has a few key tips for you to follow if you're having trouble getting that full seven hours of sleep in per night:
- Find a sleep schedule that you can follow as closely as possible from Monday to Monday.
- Resist sleeping in. This will throw your body into jet lag and make it difficult to fall asleep the next night.
- Create a bedroom sleep sanctuary. You want to walk into your bedroom and be instantly relaxed. Make sure your pillow and mattress are supportive for a great night's sleep (soft sheets help, too!).
- Start a soothing bedtime routine. Turn off your phone (blue light emitted disturbs your sleep cycle), use aromatherapy, or journal about something positive from your day.
For important advances in sleep research, expert advice, and bedtime best practices, check out POPSUGAR's page devoted entirely to sleep.