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How much sleep is just right?

09-07-2012

If you ask most people how long the ideal sleep is they will say eight hours. This received wisdom is incredibly common but it is wrong. As recent research has shown, you should aim to sleep for around seven hours a night. That’s right, the myth of eight hours is wrong and in fact sleeping for eight hours a night is a sign of increased mortality.

A massive longitudinal research project with over 1.1 million people in the study group found that the eight hour mark was actually wrong and that people who slept this long every night actually had a shorter life span than those who slept for seven hours a night. This study has been peer-reviewed and is widely considered by sleep experts to be accurate.

Unlike many findings that are announced in the press, this one has an actual concrete scientific underpinning and serious implications. If you sleep for eight hours every night then you are 12 percent more likely to die in the next six years than those
who sleep for seven hours a night are.

They found that seven hours is the best amount of sleep to get a night, with mortality rates climbing for those who got any other length of sleep.


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