For years, we’ve all heard about having eight hours of sleep is the ideal number to stay healthy. We’ve also heard about how most of us don’t get enough of the recommended amount of sleep. But all these may change now as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has funded a sleep research. In this research, there was a panel to assess the existing studies and the members were to make new recommendations. The panel suggested that less sleep could be better for us.
According to a sleep medicine expert from Virginia’s Charlottesville Neurology and Sleep Medicine, sleep is just like food. It means both too little and too much sleep isn’t good. The important thing about this is that we shouldn’t get hung up on sleeping for eight hours.
Studies about Ideal Sleeping Duration
There have been many studies that focus on sleep, particularly on how many hours we should sleep to achieve optimal health. These studies include:
- A 2002 study showed that those who sleep from 6.5 to 7.4 hours had increased lifespan than those who sleep more.
- Another study in 2011 showed that elderly women who slept for less than four hours and more than 6.5 hours have increased mortality rates.
- Recently, The Wall Street Journal reported that seven is actually the number we should strive for – and not eight or more.
- The University of California, Los Angeles also published a report that the ideal amount of sleep in adults is seven hours or about six hours and 25 minutes.
Because of the findings, do they mean we should get less than eight hours of sleep? Experts agree that we can have a good idea about the ideal sleep duration. With the new studies though, this could mean that we are on the process of letting go of the expected eight hour sleep for better health.
The truth is eight is considered the magic number, but it’s simply based on conventional wisdom. There really isn’t science to back it up, which is why sleep experts believe seven hour could simply be the sweet spot for most people. Oversleeping, just like lack of sleep, isn’t a good thing. It can have a negative impact on our health and can even cause various diseases, such as cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, and obesity. Studies agree though that too much sleep will not affect or at least won’t have serious risks when it comes to memory and cognitive function.