Your Brain On 6 Hours Of Sleep A Night

Might as well just get drunk.

You've heard it before, probably from your mom: Make sure you get enough sleep.

But if you need a more scientific justification to turn in early (or give that night-owl neighbor a piece of your mind), AsapSCIENCE has you covered. The popular YouTube channel has a new video that explains the effects of lack of sleep, from decreased brain function to increased risks of heart disease and obesity. In one study, researchers found that subjects who slept just six hours a night for 14 days had the cognitive wherewithal of someone with a .1% blood alcohol level. That's legally drunk.

The good news: You can make up modest amounts of "sleep debt" over time. The bad news: If you suffer from chronic sleep deprivation, over time you lose your ability to judge your own reduced cognitive abilities.


Add New Comment


  • Steve Dutch

    This is of extreme importance in the military, where getting along on little sleep is often a sign of machismo and enthusiasm for he job. And predictably, people who do it are impaired and don't realize they're impaired.

  • Thomas Sullivan

    The amount of sleep that people need varies, depending on the individual. Some people do very well in terms of cognition with 5 to 6 hours of sleep. Also, as you get older, the amount of sleep that you need decreases. So to say we all must get 8 hours of sleep really does not make sense.

  • Mal Jago

    I suffer from Sleep Apnea, (restricted airway condition). The article raises a valid point about how much sleep is good for you and the myths around sleep. Of course one size does not fit all and obviously at different life stages you need differing amounts of sleep. The point is we are busier and more connected than ever and our health is being affected. There has been a huge surge in teens with sleep deprivation since 2006 with tablets and smart phones emitting blue tones that tricks melatonin levels in the brain into believing its daytime. Raising awareness and getting people to understand the importance of sleep is a good thing.

  • I think you can train yourself to sleep less. In the video it talks about how they found a genetic difference. By training yourself, one can turn on this gene and just be able to function without a problem.

  • slindsay707

    So. Parenthood. As in the first year. Drunk and stupid all the time! I've often wondered why we're allowed to drive that first few months.

  • jo

    Sleep is purely personal and no blanket assessments are correct. I largely agree with the previous comments. One thing for sure is that the rest we get should be in quiet, dark spaces that are devoid of technology and things that in fact do disturb the sleep cycle even non-cognizantly. Mind and body, after all.

  • Luciano Elias

    Yet if you search online you will find numerous links/people saying otherwise. :/

    People need to learn how to listen to their own bodies first.

    We're all different. We live different lives. We're in different environments.

    Why do we insist in "one-size-fits-all" formulas???

  • I disagree, Asian cultures have a history of sleeping much less on average than Western cultures. The Chinese have a saying "He who rises before dawn every day is guaranteed to be a success." The Indian yogis sleep on average 4 to 5 hours a night. The cognitive withdrawal maybe because you tap into a spiritual realm, and without some sort of yogic exercise you cant allow the energy to flow.