Are 5 hours of sleep enough?

When it comes to sleep time, minds are divided. While some people need no less than 8 hours, others feel completely relaxed in just 6 hours. Doctors estimate that sleep lasts between 6 and 8 hours [1] recommended.

Does your daily routine hardly allow you to achieve this sleep duration or do you even suffer from insomnia Then you will find out in this article whether it is harmful to your health to sleep only 5 hours per night over the long term.

If you feel unrested and tired in the morning, this represents a major impairment of your quality of life. You would rather sleep longer and enjoy the day intensively. If the night turns out to be not very relaxing, you will hardly deliver your desired performance and spend the day with the handbrake on.


The main cause of sleep deprivation is often the stress seen. Stress [2]arises mainly from the job and the obligations that you have to fulfill during the day. You want to satisfy your boss and hardly manage to say “no”. But the extra work is not good for you and sleep suffers as a result.

In the short term, stress is an important mechanism in the body to increase performance. Under stress, the natural instinct for survival is awakened and the limit of what is feasible is reached.

Stress as a cause of lack of sleep

If you only sleep 5 hours or less, the lack of sleep could be due to excessive stress. The stress goes hand in hand with an inner tension that won’t let you go and disturbs your sleep behavior.

But in the evening the negative side of the stress becomes clear. It is difficult for you to “come down” again and even though you are actually ready to sleep, your thoughts in bed are circling wildly.

You can literally see how hour after hour goes by and you can’t close your eyes. Actually, you were disciplined and wanted to allow yourself a longer sleep. But nothing comes of it and shortly after you fell asleep, the alarm clock rings again.


Another factor that is also related to stress is the smartphone [3]. Nowadays there is a need to be available anytime and anywhere . Be it so that you always get the latest stories from your friends or the employer contacts you.

It is inevitable that work e-mails are answered even at a late hour or that the smartphone is used as a distraction. Especially when it takes longer to fall asleep, the temptation is great to watch YouTube videos or to pass the time with a game.

Do without a smartphone

Put your smartphone aside about 2 hours before going to bed to help you fall asleep. The bluish light disturbs sleep and makes it difficult to fall asleep.

However, the smartphone is bad for sleep in several ways On the one hand, there is the blue light, which inhibits the production of the sleep hormone melatonin, and on the other hand, stress is caused by its use . It is therefore advisable to put the smartphone away about 2 hours before going to sleep.


If you do not feel adequately taken care of with a sleep of 5 hours, the typical symptoms of lack of sleep threaten . These are to be taken seriously in any case and must not be ignored. At a young age and if the duration is short, the effects are still relatively weak. But in the longer term, health suffers and life expectancy decreases.

Immediately after the too short sleep you will notice that you become more tired. You can barely get out of bed and you need a coffee first to get going . But even the coffee can only inadequately cover up the symptoms. During the entire day , your ability to concentrate suffers and with it your performance at work or at university.

If the lack of sleep lasts a little longer, the consequences are even more noticeable . The sleep is important for body and mind regenerate. If there is a restriction, this manifests itself, for example, in the immune system. Your immune system is weakened and you are more susceptible to disease. Colds in particular can be more common.

If you fail to compensate for the sleep deficit and the effect occurs over several years, the consequences are life-threatening. The lack of sleep puts a strain on your cardiovascular system. Your heart has to do more work and the whole system is under stress. This increases the risk of a stroke and other cardiovascular diseases.

Studies [4]also show that a lack of sleep has a direct effect on eating habits. You are increasingly reaching for unhealthy and sweet foods , which are also associated with negative consequences. Hence, obesity and lack of sleep are closely related.


The question now is, is it always insufficient to sleep just 5 hours each night? After all, there are short sleepers who are completely satisfied with 6 hours.

It must be clearly stated that “it depends”. Because the quantitative sleep duration is less important for the body. The quality of sleep is more important.

Some people can sleep 10 hours and still feel unrested afterwards, while others can do just fine with 5 hours. The sleep quality describes how efficiently run the regeneration processes and how get much rest body and mind.

Well rested or tired?

If you feel rested and well recovered with 5 hours of sleep in the morning, this short sleep is fine for you. On the other hand, if you wake up overtired, you should sleep longer and work on the quality of your sleep.

The quality of sleep is directly influenced by lifestyle. Do you eat healthily, do light sport regularly and do not consume alcohol [5], your body will have to spend significantly less time in bed. In this case, 5 to 6 hours of sleep can be okay and not pose a health risk.

It looks different, however, if you only sleep 5 hours and are totally exhausted in the morning. Then it is clear that you suffer from a lack of sleep. You should urgently work on getting more sleep and improving the quality of sleep.

You can do this, for example, by using a comfortable memory foam pillow or a neck pillow . Then your head is comfortable and breathing is made easier. A high-quality cold foam mattress or an orthopedic mattress also prove to be advantageous. These offer your back better support and provide relief.


lack of sleep has a clearly negative effect on your life. You don’t feel rested and your health suffers.

However, whether 5 hours of sleep is sufficient depends on the individual. If your need for sleep is generally not that high and 5 hours are enough even on the weekend, then you shouldn’t worry about it. As long as you wake up rested after sleep, everything is fine and even a very short sleep is sufficient.

It looks different, however, if you are completely overtired after a short sleep period . Then you should urgently work on your sleep behavior so as not to endanger your health.

Jamie Clark

Hello, I’m Jamie Clark, 32 years old, and I have been living in the USA for a few years.
Since I was a child, I have suffered from a house dust allergy, severely affecting me. I felt the effects both while exercising and while sleeping. Constant sneezing after getting up and difficult breathing were the consequences. The allergy has also developed into asthma, which is still a sporting restriction today.

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