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March 10, 2016

Sleeping 6 hours per night has same effect as not sleeping at all over time

Study participants sleeping 6 hours per night over two weeks experienced the same productivity decline by Day 10 as those who didn't sleep at all for two days

Sleep Studies
03052015_Sleep File Art/for PhillyVoice

What are the effects of losing sleep?

A sleep study proves what we’ve all been warned about, but hoped wasn't so: Not getting a full eight hours of sleep every night can quickly add up to the full-on effects of sleep deprivation. 

The study, reported on by Philadelphia Magazine and first published in Sleep Journal, divided 48 healthy 21-to 38-year-old adults into four groups:

  1. Slept eight hours per night for two weeks
  2. Slept six hours per night for two weeks
  3. Slept four hours per night for two weeks
  4. Total sleep deprivation for two days

The findings: By Day 10 of the experiment, the group who slept six hours per night experienced the same negative declines in overall productivity levels as the group who didn't sleep at all for two days. 

But here's the kicker: The six-hour sleepers didn't feel exceptionally sleep-deprived, although it showed up in their performance levels. We won't even go into what the four-hours-a-night group experienced in the span of the study, but it wasn't pretty.

So the moral of the story study is get a full night's sleep or you likely will suffer.

Read the full study report here.