Is 5 Hours Of Sleep Enough?

Is 5 Hours Of Sleep Enough? UK Guide (2022)

Written by Nicky

Last updated: 19.07.2022

2 Min.

Imagine this scenario: It’s already late but you got caught up watching your favourite television series. You know you have to get up early for work the next day but the fictional world is just so exciting and you just have to watch one more episode.

But the next morning, you feel awful - tired, groggy, and upset with yourself for not getting enough sleep. You swear that you’ll never do it again. But, of course, we all do. How bad can it really be?

Is getting little sleep really such a bad thing? Isn’t 5 hours of sleep enough? And how does a lack of sleep affect your body?

In the short term, getting too little sleep isn’t ideal but relatively harmless. In the long run, however, it can have very serious consequences. We elaborate more on all of this in this article.

Is 5 hours of sleep enough

Is stress leading to sleep deprivation?

Many people have trouble sleeping, regardless of whether it’s because they have trouble falling asleep, generally feel restless, or wake up at the crack of dawn despite still being super tired and not feeling fully rested.

Much of this is stress-related. Indeed, feeling stressed can severely affect the quality of your sleep, causing you to toss and turn instead of drifting off to dreamland.

In extremely stressful situations, sleep deprivation is fairly common. With stress, the body releases more adrenaline, which will keep you up for longer. This is usually short-term, and you’ll get back to your regular sleeping pattern as soon as the stressor is gone.

Chronic sleep deprivation only occurs if lack of sleep continues beyond the stressful situation.

But isn’t 5 hours of sleep enough?

Stress aside, many people these days believe that they simply don’t have the time to sleep.

Many high-achievers brag that they only get 5 hours of sleep at night - or even less! This gives them the time to lead well-rounded lives and gain high levels of success in work, family, and play. They seem to achieve more, are more productive, and lead happier and fuller lives.

Indeed, some people really do need less sleep. But this is the exception, not the norm.

high achiever

For most people, getting a mere 5 hours of sleep is simply not enough. It leads to brain fogginess, sluggish behaviour, and an actual decrease in productivity - despite an increase in time awake. 99% of people really do need between 7 and 8 hours of sleep a night.

What are the consequences of sleep deprivation?

While missing a few nights of good sleep may not seem like the end of the world, research by sleep scientist Matthew Walker proves otherwise. Indeed, sleep deprivation has numerous short-term, medium-term, and long-term effects that can be detrimental to your health, body, and mind.

Short-term effects (1-3 nights)

  • Decreased cognitive skills, reduced ability to concentrate, poor memory
  • Irritability and mood swings
  • Reduced work and sports performance
  • Higher risk of using drugs, alcohol, and energy drinks

Medium-term effects (3-5 nights)

  • Higher risk of infection due to a weakened immune system
  • Slower regeneration of cells

Long-term effects (6 nights or longer)

If you suffer from chronic sleep deprivation, then you’re more at risk of serious health implications, including:

  • Stroke
  • Heart disease
  • Morbid obesity
  • Diabetes

Get sleeping!

The health consequences of chronic sleep deprivation are very serious. While you may feel that you need less, your body and mind need sleep to function optimally.


My mum calls me "bear" because I like to sleep so much. I never knew that, one day, that would be a very useful skill. Can you tell that I've found my calling? 

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