How Much Sleep Do Our Bodies Need?

As Shift Workers we are definitely prone to not getting much sleep!

Our Sofa can be our best friend after work because it is the perfect place for taking that ritual ‘nanna nap’!

So how much sleep should we be getting?

A study conducted at Adelaide University in Australia involved 5 candidates who were given varying hours of sleep.

  • A – Was given 8 hours of sleep
  • B – Was given 6 hours of sleep
  • C – Was given 4 hours of sleep
  • D – Was given 2 hours of sleep
  • E – Was given no sleep

Each candidate was given a few performance tasks before heading to bed. A driving simulator tested the girls’ ability to concentrate, while a response time task tested their reaction times in milliseconds.

The candidates were again tested on the following morning to see how they went on the same tasks. The outcomes determined how much, or how little sleep our bodies really need.

The results were as follows:

(6 – 8 hours) – We definitely need around 8 hours of sleep a night to perform optimally. If you can only manage 6, your ability to function normally will only be slightly impaired, so long as this is a one-off occasion. Once you go below 6 hours on a regular basis, that’s when problems start occurring.

(4 hours) – If on one night you only have a 4-hour sleep, the key thing is to try and get at least 9 hours the following night to recover. But you also don’t want to oversleep as you may find it difficult to get off to sleep the following night.

(0 – 2 hours) – The reaction time and decision making when you’ve been awake for a whole 24 hours is just as bad, if not worse, than if you’ve been at the pub and drank 10 beers.


Make sure that you’re getting plenty of Zeds!!


  1. Dragonfly

    I think 10-12 hours in bed is perfect for Winter!!! I agree though – 8 hours is a must!

  2. inkala images

    …I really need to move on from my current role! 3-5hrs is definitely not sufficient!


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