Study Says Getting 6 Hours of Sleep Is Like Pulling an All-Nighter

There’s not much of a debate surrounding sleep. Sure, everyone is different, but almost all experts will suggest that you really should be getting eight hours a night to be functioning at the optimal level. But, like most things you don’t have time for, getting close to that number is almost as good, right?

Not really.

An article by Fast Company, which took a look at a sleep deprivation study published by the journal Sleep, reports that in a lab-based study involving a group of 48 adults, individuals who were only allowed to get six hours of sleep a night for two weeks straight functioned just as poorly as those subjects who were forced to stay awake for two days straight.

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The kicker: The group of individuals who were sleeping the six hours a night didn’t rate their “sleepiness” level as all that bad—but, their cognitive performance steadily declined, and it was just as bad as the individuals who didn’t sleep at all.

Considering almost half of Americans say they don’t get enough sleep, that’s a whole lot of people who are potentially performing (or underperforming) as though they just stayed up for two days straight.

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