Well first – It’s not about quantity – it’s about quality. Our sleep, as humans, can be described by 4 different stages sorted by depth of sleep plus an extra stage that is called REM sleep, which stands for rapid eye movement. On the cellular level we are regenerating only at the third and the fourth stage of sleep. The last occurrence of either of those two stages is at approximately 4:30 AM. After that the biorhythms up-regulate breathing and heart rate, so most of us start hyperventilating there. And if your breathing is already impaired and that applies to approximately 80 to 90% of the Western population (according to scientific studies), then you can be in trouble. Because if your breathing is impaired to a great degree, then this little difference in lung minute-ventilation can cause the cells of the heart muscle fibres to receive too little oxygen.
The physiological mechanism when you hyperventilate is as follows: the amount of carbon dioxide in the lungs and in your arterial blood goes down and it diminishes the affinity of haemoglobin with oxygen molecules allowing oxygen molecules to come to the cell. If the partial pressure of carbon dioxide goes down below 24 mmHg you die. The physiological norm nowadays is 40 mmHg. 100 years ago it was 46 mmHg – is the human race degenerating from all this stress???. You can measure the partial pressure roughly by taking a breath-holding test (CP-control pause).
To make a long story short, that’s why if you start working with sleep hacking you have to optimize both breathing habits, eating habits (when you eat the day’s last meal, how you drink related to food intake, what is your nutritional window etc) and the amount and the quality of exercise during the day. Then your sleep need will start diminishing naturally, and I find that the optimal amount of hours is about five. But it is certainly can vary from person to person. I use it for helping my cancer clients to heal themselves. And the results are promising.
I myself sleep 4 1/2 hours hours, going to bed at 11-12pm and rising at 4:30am every day. The energy is never a problem during the day. if you want to know more then read my article below: Sleep Hacking Helps Healing Cancer Naturally