This is how much sleep you actually need

By Sean Dowling, Buzz60

We've all heard that adults should get a recommended eight hours of sleep, but how much sleep do we actually need?

The answer really depends on how well you want your brain to work.

Your brain basically won't work at all without catching some Zzzz's.

Experts say one sleepless night is like being legally drunk.

Study after study shows we should get no less than eight hours of sleep each night, no exceptions.

Even if you think seven hours is enough, you're wrong, sleep researchers at the Walter Reed Army Research Institute tell Popular Science.

See more on sleeping:

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Oddest things people do in their sleep
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Oddest things people do in their sleep

Sleep eating

Nocturnal sleep-related eating disorder is characterized by people sleep walking to their kitchens and eating. Often times, they have no recollection of it, and only realize when they discover messes and missing food.

Sometimes, the patient has severe weight gain and other health issues attributed to the disorder. 

Frequently, the foods eaten are high in fat, sugar and carbohydrates. Furthermore, people with the disorder create bizarre food combinations with the items they have access to in their kitchen. 

Acting out their dreams

REM sleep behavior disorder physically play out their dreams, moving their bodies or even getting out of bed.

Their dreams are so vivid and real, that during REM sleep, which normally restrains your muscles, your body still flails. 

Hallucinations 

It is possible to experience auditory, visual, tactile and olfactory hallucinations, as many times, the person cannot tell what is part of a dream and what is part of reality. 

The hallucinations often happen in the stages right before sleep (hypnogogic) or after sleep (hypnopompic). Hypnogogic can be associated with sleep paralysis and a fearful sensation. 

Hypnopompic is usually associated with dreams and 'feeling a presence in the room'. 

Sleep sex

Called 'sexsomnia', it falls under the category of parasomnia, the stage right before you fall asleep.

When a person has this disorder, they oftentimes engage in sexual acts with a partner or themselves, while asleep. They have no recollection of it. 

It is more common for people who normally are affected by other sleep disorders, or those taking sleep medications.

Sleep texting

Apparently, more and more people are sending texts in their sleep. 

"It is very common for people to do things in their sleep that they do repeatedly during the day," said a neurologist in an article to BBC. 

Understandably, the texts make little sense to the person after they've woken up. 

Exploding head syndrome 

It occurs when you're about to drift off into sleep, and suddenly a loud noise goes off in your head. 

Another parasomnia event, exploding head syndrome sounds similar to a clap of thunder or bomb. However, it sounds as if the noise could be heard by everyone, but in reality, it's internal.

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People in a study who got seven hours of sleep were dozing off a lot and didn't ace easy mental tests like response speed and understanding written passages compared to those sleeping eight hours.

But the thing is, they thought they did well on the tests.

Scientists say you can be sleep deprived and not even know it.

If you can't get eight solid hours, can you make up for lost time and sleep in on weekends to average eight hours? No.

It takes longer than a weekend to recover, but no one knows how long that takes.

Tired of all of these questions and medical jargon? Take a nap!

Although scientists don't really have a consensus on whether naps are good for you.

If they need volunteers for a new study, I'm in!

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