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A 38-year-old male asked:

At what point is lack of sleep going to have a negative impact in health and job performance? and how? is 5 hours/night enough?

2 doctor answers10 doctors weighed in
Dr. Hesham Hassaballa
Pulmonary Critical Care 22 years experience
Never good: Lack of sleep is quite detrimental to health. It can cause the same type of impairment as alcohol intoxication. It has been shown to cause immune system problems, cognitive deficits, and other health problems. For some people, 5h/night may be enough. But, for most people, 7-8 hours per night is usually what is needed.
Dr. James Ferguson
Pediatrics 46 years experience
Depends: Sleep requirement varies with age, health status, physical demands on the body(job vs play) & individual tolerance. While the sedate 70yo may be able to get by with 5hr/night, the 35yo lumberjack may need 8 to avoid the danger in his job.The growing 12yo needs 8-9 while a 18 yo may do well with 7.If you've ever dozed at work, lunch, a break or ever sleepwalk/talk etc. You have negative effects.

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Last updated Oct 3, 2016

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