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Is it bad to only be getting 5 hours of sleep every night?

Answered on July 03, 2013
Created June 03, 2013 at 2:27 AM

So I am 5'3" 100 lb, 20 year old female and ever since I've turned paleo (about 4 months ago) I've only been able to get 5 straight hours of sleep a night. I consistently go to sleep at around 12am everyday then wake up at 5am and can't for the life of me go back to sleep. It's like clockwork. If I go to sleep at 10pm then I will get up exactly 5 hours later at 2am and will only be able to go back to sleep if I eat something. The weird thing is that I'm not tired at all for the whole day and usually don't take any naps. Before paleo I ate the SAD diet and if I slept at 12am I would be able to sleep until 9am without waking up in between and would be able to sleep for even longer if I wanted to.

Basically, I'm asking if only getting 5 straight hours of sleep a night--plus an hour of napping throughout the day if I have time--could be detrimental to my health, despite the fact that I don't really feel tired throughout the day when I do. I also don't notice any significant health differences between when I used to sleep 8+ hours and when I only sleep 5 hours.

9ccba53aa2fa1ad747c1baad2386fa1f

on June 03, 2013
at 06:59 AM

Thanks, this was really helpful. I definitely think it has to do with the fact that I'm spending an awful lot more time in front of my laptop than I did before. I didn't know blue light could affect sleep that much! I'll try changing my habits because even though I don't feel tired after 5 hours it just feels really good to be able to sleep a straight 7 hours!

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7 Answers

best answer

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45a328d930d1b5cede6b2e03609fe09e

on June 03, 2013
at 04:19 AM

Mark Sisson (www.marksdailyapple.com) had a post about sleep duration lately. He recommends to get more sleep whenever possible believing this is very important for recovery. From a different (Ayurveda) perspective, it is best when one lives in accordance with the nature rythms. When we go to bed after it gets really dark, our bodies start producing stress hormones like cortisol. It increases appetite and at the same time helps to store enything eaten into fat, low carb or not. Maybe try to reduce your exposure to blue light from your computer, phone, TV, etc. You may be feeling "high" for several month running on adreanaline until its production gets exhausted and then start suffering from low immunity and insomnia. However, everyone is very individual and this may be perfectly normal for you.... watch how you feel. If you are not doing anything wrong, you should not be having any problems.

9ccba53aa2fa1ad747c1baad2386fa1f

on June 03, 2013
at 06:59 AM

Thanks, this was really helpful. I definitely think it has to do with the fact that I'm spending an awful lot more time in front of my laptop than I did before. I didn't know blue light could affect sleep that much! I'll try changing my habits because even though I don't feel tired after 5 hours it just feels really good to be able to sleep a straight 7 hours!

0
1b0a3a523de9eeb765c619556573e62d

on July 03, 2013
at 07:13 AM

Try taking melatonin about a half hour or so before going to bed. I do 3 mg. I work third shift and it really helps me sleep solidly for 8 hours. I used to wake up after 4 or 5 hours of sleep.

0
E3bc579b035f12c58c2d66ad73dcbd39

on July 03, 2013
at 06:02 AM

I read an article about sleep duration recently. So, you can sleep fbout 5 hours a day and it will do no harm to you, but there must be a day when you sleep about 8 hours. And, as it was said, ad magnesium in your diet. Good luck!

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783275f7d7d5fd8de47977d42fc5f97d

on June 03, 2013
at 05:59 AM

Make sure you are getting enough magnesium in your diet, it's very easy to run low on Paleo, and that might trigger early wakening. You could be running up a sleep debt after a few weeks of only 5 hours a night, even when you feel fine now.

0
07a941eb3c2a63feced03ad91ecc22b9

(139)

on June 03, 2013
at 03:26 AM

Try supplementing with magnesium citrate or ionic magnesium. If you have a tub in your bathroom try a magnesium bath. Try eating carbs in the day time. Try working out vigorously in the daytime that way you feel tired when it's night. Getting lots of sun helps your brain produce more melatonin so you fall asleep faster.

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39311794c054f89a226f33e1afd08721

on June 03, 2013
at 02:53 AM

It could be that five hours is your post-teenager normal. It's on the low end for what's the right amount for most people, but somebody has to be on the low end.

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4610451431ec7155c87a5698be682a95

(1122)

on June 03, 2013
at 02:35 AM

As long as you are feeling energetic and rested I don't see a problem. I was SAD with my wife and would regularly eat a pound of pasta and sleep 10 or more hours on a weekend. I started eating Zone, dropped 100 pounds and found i only needed 6-7 hrs of keep. Do what feels right.

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