Last Updated: July 28, 2022
We’ve all been there—determined to get more done, we try to cut down on our sleep time. But inevitably, we find that we can’t function properly with just a few hours of sleep. So, how to sleep 8 hours in 3 hours? In this article, we’ll explain everything you need to know about sleeping less and still getting the rest you need.
Why Do We Need to Sleep
A full night’s sleep is essential for our health and wellbeing, allowing our bodies to rest and recharge, as well as repair any damage that may have been done during the day. Not getting enough sleep can cause physical stress and negatively impact our mental health, leading to problems such as obesity, heart disease, and anxiety. That’s why getting a full night’s sleep not only makes you feel refreshed but also boosts your mental performance.
During sleep, our bodies repair any damage that has been done during the day, including everything from physical injuries to emotional stress. Getting 8 hours of sleep is also important for our cognitive function, helping us consolidate memories and learn new information. When we fall asleep, our body goes through four stages of sleep, and this cycle repeats itself four to five times.
The Four Stages of Sleep
For a better understanding of what happens in our bodies during sleep, let’s explain the four stages of sleep.
When you first fall asleep, you enter the first stage of non-REM sleep, which lasts around 7 minutes. During this stage, you’re sleeping lightly, with your heart rate and eye movements slowing down, but you can easily be awoken. It’s important to note that sleeping 5 hours a night might not be enough for the body to go through all the stages.
This stage that’s also known as sleep just before deep sleep in which you’ll start dreaming, the body falls deeper and deeper into sleep. During its course, your body temperature decreases, your eyes stop moving, and the heart rate and muscles continue relaxing.
This is a more restful stage of sleep, where your deep sleep begins, and your body and mind recharge.
In this stage, your heart rate and eye movements increase, and you enter the dream state. This is probably the most important stage your body has to go through, so if you constantly skip it, you’ll have the effects of less sleep to deal with later on. During this sleep stage which usually occurs after 90 minutes of sleep, you experience the most dreaming.
|DID YOU KNOW: Many people nowadays struggle with sleep anxiety leaving them sleepless for days, which can have various health consequences. However, there are some techniques people can try to calm their anxiety at night, meditation being one of them.|
How to Sleep 8 Hours in 3 Hours
For most people, 3 hours a day is not enough for sleeping adequately, as the body requires more hours of sleep to get through the day. However, it’s possible to reduce sleeping time and still function perfectly with some simple tips and tricks, but let’s first see how much sleep we really need in each stage of life.
How Much Sleep Do We Really Need?
Let’s see according to ages how much sleep a human being needs:
Infants (Ages 0-3 Months)
Newborns up to three months old need 14 to 17 hours of sleep in a 24-hour period, including two or three naps during the day. In the first few months, breastfed babies tend to sleep more than formula-fed babies.
Infants (Ages 4-11 Months)
As the baby gets older, they could reduce the need for sleep. From 4 to 11 months, infants need 12 to 16 hours of sleep, including one or two naps during the day.
Toddlers (Ages 1-2 Years)
Toddlers aged one to two years need 11 to 14 hours of sleep in a 24-hour period. Although their sleep time is reduced, napping still plays an important role in their sleep habits, as they need one daytime nap and one nighttime sleep session.
Preschool Children (Ages 3-5)
Preschoolers have less sleep and more energy than babies. So, children from three to five years need 10 to 13 hours of sleep in a 24-hour period, including one short nap.
School-Age Children (Ages 6-13)
Once the kids enroll in school, it’s normal for their bodies to require less sleep and be more energetic as they engage in activities other than playing, eating, and sleeping. School-age children from the ages of 6 to 13 years need 9 to 12 hours of sleep to get through the day.
Teenagers (Ages 14-17)
Getting 8 hours of sleep is perfectly normal for teenagers, and their ideal amount of rest can even go up to 10 hours. While many teenagers believe that their brains can function with less sleep, it’s important to follow this pattern and avoid long-term sleep deficiency because it can lead to poor concentration, mood swings, and higher accident risk.
Adults (Ages 18 and Older)
Most young adults need around seven to nine hours of night’s sleep. Some of them might feel tired when sleeping more than nine hours a night, so experts suggest that in order to avoid the effects of less sleep, adults need no more than nine hours of sleep.
Older Adults (Ages 65 and Older)
Older adults aged 65 and above need around seven to eight hours of sleep each night.
How to Sleep Less and Have More Energy?
Chronically restricted sleep is never a good idea, but life happens. Sometimes when under a lot of stress and when your life is hectic, it feels like 24 hours isn’t enough, and sleeping adequately is simply not an option.
There are a few things you can do when training your body to sleep less to help you get through short periods of sleep deprivation:
1. Avoid Screen Time for an Hour Before Bed
It’s a good idea to restrict screen time to at least an hour before bed, since the blue light from screens may interfere with the body’s natural rhythm and keep you awake. Lying down, let’s say, on an organic mattress and letting sleep take over without any screens in the room will help you get good sleep, even if it’s just 3 hours of sleep per night.
2. Keep Screens and Other Distractions Out of Your Bedroom
When you leave your phone in another room and don’t put a TV in your bedroom, you may be able to get more sleep by restricting bedtime idleness. Without screen diversions, you’ll easily link the bedroom with sleep, and soon you’ll only need your electric blanket or a cooling pillow to get a good night’s sleep.
3. Get Some Light Exercise
Exercise releases endorphins, which help improve sleep quality. If you want to sleep 8 hours in 3 hours, a moderate workout a few hours before bedtime can help you sleep better. Just be sure to avoid working out too close to bedtime, as this can have the opposite effect on your quality of sleep.
4. Make Sure Your Room is Dark
Sleeping in a dark room can help you fall asleep and stay asleep, as bright lights may interfere with the body’s natural production of melatonin.
5. Avoid Alcohol
Although alcohol may make you feel drowsy, as the effect wears off it can actually disrupt your sleep stages, so you should avoid drinking before bedtime.
6. Reduce Caffeine Intake
As caffeine is a stimulant, it can keep you awake. To get 2-3 hours of sleep per night, try to avoid drinking caffeine late in the day, or switch to decaf if you’re having trouble sleeping adequately.
7. Try the Method of Polyphasic Sleep
Polyphasic sleep is the method of sleeping in multiple short naps throughout the day instead of one long session at night, popularly practiced by the likes of Leonardo Da Vinci. Although this method can be difficult to stick with, it has the advantage of reducing your overall need for sleep.
|DID YOU KNOW: Some crystals like Selenite can help you relax into deep sleep. Having a Selenite night lamp in your room can help you relax and cleanse yourself of all emotions that are distracting you.|
Is It Healthy to Sleep Only 3 Hours per Night?
While getting less than the recommended seven to eight hours of sleep per night may not be ideal, it’s better than not sleeping at all. However, there may be some side effects of 3.5 hours of sleep per night you should be aware of.
Sleeping for fewer hours than the recommended amount of rest can lead to poor concentration and focus. Also, getting just three hours of sleep can lead to mood swings and irritability, and if sleep deprivation continues affecting your cognitive abilities, it increases the risk of accidents. Chronic sleep deprivation can have health consequences as well, causing diabetes, infertility, heart disease, and obesity, to name a few.
While it may be tempting to try and sleepless in order to have more time, it’s important to remember that quality sleep is essential for optimal health and wellbeing, as the side effects of 3.5 hours of sleep per night can have a negative impact on your day-to-day life.
|DID YOU KNOW: According to the CDC, getting only six hours of sleep during the day can cause a cognitive impairment equal to having 0.5% of alcohol in your bloodstream, and being awake for the full 24 hours is equivalent to having 1% of alcohol in your blood system.|
|It’s important to wake up feeling rested not only for our physical health but for our mental performance as well.|
|There are four stages of sleep: three non-REM and one REM stage.|
|Infants should sleep for 12–17 hours, preschoolers need 10 to 13 hours, while teenagers only need 8 to 10 hours of sleep.|
|When training your body to sleep less, you especially need to pay attention to sleeping in a dark room so the body can produce melatonin naturally.|
|Sleeping 3 hours per night could potentially lead to some health problems.|
We all know that the amount of rest we get during a 24-hour period has an effect on our daily routines. While it’s ideal to sleep around 8 hours a day, our hectic schedules could sometimes leave us with no other option but to cut down on sleep. That’s why in this article we tried to explain how to get eight hours of sleep in just three hours, and what the possible side effects are if this turns into more than a one-time thing.
There is some evidence that suggests meditation may help improve sleep quality and reduce the overall need for sleep. However, more research is needed in this area to make a definitive conclusion.
There is no definitive answer to this question, but it’s generally accepted that humans can go without sleep for around two weeks. After this point, the lack of sleep begins to take a serious toll on the body, even leading to death.
As you may have expected, the answer is yes. Although some people want to know how to sleep 8 hours in 3 hours because of their busy schedules, sleeping 8 hours per night is recommended for young adults and elderly people.