Sleep sweet spot: Health benefits from not over - or under - sleeping
A new study finds that sleeping too much and too little are associated with increased risks for illness. (Gaston M. Charles/shutterstock)
Published Tuesday, October 8, 2013 10:33AM EDT
Last Updated Tuesday, October 8, 2013 10:36AM EDT
Getting too little and too much sleep are associated with health risks, a new study finds. Best advice: aim for the sweet spot, between seven to nine hours a night.
Research published last week in the journal Sleep finds that sleeping between six hours or fewer or ten hours or more a night is linked with an increased risk of chronic illnesses among people ages 45 and older.
"Sleeping longer doesn't necessarily mean you're sleeping well," said study researcher Dr. Janet B. Croft, a senior chronic disease epidemiologist at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Division of Population Health. "A healthy, balanced lifestyle is not limited to diet and fitness; when and how you sleep is just as important as what you eat or how you exercise."
For the study, Croft and her team analyzed sleep duration and health among 54,269 U.S. adults ages 45 and older who were part of the 2010 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System survey. Among the subjects, around 31 per cent reported getting six or fewer hours of sleep a night, almost 65 per cent reported getting seven to nine hours a night, and close to four per cent reported getting ten or more hours of sleep a night.
Sleeping too little or too much was linked with obesity, mental distress, stroke, diabetes, and heart disease, even after controlling for other potential risk factors.
A study from last year also found that people who sleep less than six hours per night or more than eight are more likely to suffer heart problems than people who sleep between six and eight hours. The study, carried out by Chicago Medical School, involved people over age 45 who participated in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey in the U.S.
Access the new study: http://journalsleep.org/ViewAbstract.aspx?pid=29127