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How Much Sleep Do You Really Need?

June 11, 2008
“short sleep is O.K” said co-director of research at the Scripps Clinic Sleep Center in La Jolla, Calif.
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How Much Sleep Do You Really Need?

Woman sleeping
How much sleep is ideal?

Studies show that people who sleep between 6.5 hr. and 7.5 hr. a night, as they
report, live the longest. And people who sleep 8 hr. or more, or less than 6.5
hr., they don’t live quite as long. There is just as much risk associated with
sleeping too long as with sleeping too short.
The big surprise is that long sleep seems to start at 8 hr. Sleeping 8.5 hr.
might really be a little worse than sleeping 5 hr..
One of the reasons I like to publicize these facts is that I think we can
prevent a lot of insomnia and distress just by telling people that short sleep
is O.K. We’ve all been told you ought to sleep 8 hr., but there was never any
A very common problem we see at sleep clinics is people who spend too long in
bed. They think they should sleep 8 or 9 hr.
with the result that they have trouble falling asleep and wake up a lot during
the night.
lot of the problem [of insomnia] is lying in bed awake, worrying about it
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