We have heard the sentence “the average person should get 8 hours sleep every night”, or some variation, so often pretty much everyone thinks that it must be true; however, new research has shown that this truism may not be as true as we all believe.
The research involved a staggering one million people, which for any scientific study is an enormous sample. It found that people who sleep for eight or more hours die younger than those who sleep for between six and seven hours. One of the study’s co-authors claimed that for those who average around six and a half hours sleep a night, there are absolutely no medical implications, whereas for those who sleep either five hours or less or eight hours or more, there is a significant decrease in length of life.
Unfortunately, the study was unable to discover exactly why too much sleep is bad for us. As with any scientific studies of this nature, you need to take the findings with a degree of scepticism as it could be that there was some fundamental flaw in the methodology used. However, it has been through a rigorous review process and many other sleep experts have backed it up.
Amazingly, it seems that owning an alarm clock could increase your life span.