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Am I sleeping enough?

06-05-2012

If you think you are getting a good night’s sleep then you might be getting it all wrong, scientists are just discovering how many of our common conceptions of sleep are totally off. Take the amount of sleep required to keep you healthy. Most people believe that 8 hours is a good night’s sleep, that this is the best amount for any person. However, recent research has questioned this common knowledge, suggesting that a healthy amount of sleep is actually between 6 and 7 hours for most people, but that it can also depend on your age and other factors. It turns out that getting 8 hours a night is actually not that god for you, doubling your chances of dying young when compared to people who sleep 6 to 7 hours a night. Getting less than 6 hours a night is even worse, with three times the chance of dying young.

Another common fallacy is that it is best for us to sleep in one solid block. This is actually a recent innovation caused in large part by the advent of artificial light and the regularisation of work hours. For most of history and in much of the undeveloped world, people actually sleep in two blocks. This has been shown to be far healthier than the solid single sleep we have in the West.


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