Who Needs Sleep?

This will keep you up at night.

Researchers from China and the U.K. recently found that middle-aged and older people should average about seven hours of sleep a night in order to avoid health issues. If you get less than seven hours: issues. And if you get more? Still issues.

“While we can’t say conclusively that too little or too much sleep causes cognitive problems, our analysis looking at individuals over a longer period of time appears to support this idea,” said Jianfeng Feng, a professor at China’s Fudan University and an author of the study.

The study found that too little or too much sleep led to problems including:

  • Short attention spans
  • Memory problems
  • Anxiety
  • Depression

Critics of the study point to the fact that it only measured the total amount of sleep, not factoring in night-waking or how deeply each person was sleeping. That total amount also came from the participants themselves, so there were no controls in place.

But this is another good reminder that we probably all need more sleep. Just not too much!

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