Sleep experts have finally agreed upon the number of hours adult humans should sleep if they want to sustain their health. Interestingly, there seems to be an added perk if you get in more shut-eye.
A panel of leading sleep experts has jointly concluded that people should get a minimum of seven hours of sleep each night (or day, if you roll that way). In case you aren’t getting the minimum number of hours, your health will deteriorate and eventually suffer. Interestingly, the panel also recommended that getting a little more time in the bed isn’t as bad as it is made out to be.
To arrive at the magical figure that people should dwell in the dreamland, 15 sleep experts teamed up and sifted through more than 5,300 scientific studies that examined the relationship between sleep and optimal health. The researchers dug through statistics that broadly linked sleeping patterns with the health of the individual. Both short-term and long term analyses were taken into consideration to draw the final conclusion.
The “seven hours of sleep” conclusion was published as a consensus statement from the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM) and the Sleep Research Society, shared Nathaniel F. Watson, incoming AASM president and panel moderator.
“Our consensus panel found that sleeping six or fewer hours per night is inadequate to sustain health and safety in adults, and agreed that seven or more hours of sleep per night is recommended for all healthy adults.”
So, how bad is not getting enough sleep? The researchers discovered that chronic sleep-deprivation can be the cause of several health problems like weight gain, diabetes, and heart disease.
But what’s surprising is the fact that these experts think there’s no upper limit to how much sleep is good for you. In fact, in case if are trying to recuperate, or are simply young and trying to catch a few more hours of sleep, nine or sometimes even more hours might do you good and isn’t detrimental, as some parents would have you think, continued Watson.
“This is a general recommendation for what it takes to remain alert and productive without stimulants. To determine how much sleep you need without gallons of coffee, perform a three-week sleep experiment. Go to bed when you’re tired, wake up spontaneously when you feel rested. Then assess how you feel during the day, how you perform during the day.”
Incidentally, the same number of hours has been recommended by the National Sleep Foundation in the U.S. However, their guidelines had an upper-limit, as well, whereas this research plainly states: if you need more, you sleep more.
[Image Credit: Getty Images]