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Less sleep leads to longer life?

Bridget Holmstrom / Reporter


More than seven hours of sleep in one night leads to a shorter lifespan. The same goes for those who sleep substantially less than seven hours in a night, according to a report in USA Today.

The article explained three major studies report findings that people who sleep seven hours a night live the longest.

The most recent study was conducted by Japanese researchers and published in the journal Sleep in February. The study was done with 104,010 adults over a 10-year period.

Scientists factored in general health of those studied as well as their specific lifestyle habits.

The results of this study showed that adults who slept seven hours each night had a lower death rate than those who slept more than seven hours.

A study done at the University of California at San Diego School of Medicine came to the same conclusion as the Japanese study.

Seven hours is best, the studies suggest. Less than seven hours of sleep could have negative effects.

More sleep is not without its drawbacks, also. When people slept eight or more hours each night, they were found more likely to die at an earlier age.

The possibilities are small, but some doctors are saying that these recent major studies should not go ignored.

Others say people should sleep for whatever amount of time feels right to them, not worrying about these new studies.

On a Tuesday morning last month, 76 Elon students were surveyed about their sleep habits. They were asked how many hours they had slept the night before, how many estimated hours they sleep on average each night and how much sleep they think that they should be getting.

The students surveyed slept an average of six hours and 40 minutes. The students estimated that they normally slept six and a half hours each night.

Of the 76 students surveyed, an overwhelming average indicated they believed that anywhere from eight to nine hours was the amount of sleep he or she should be getting.

The Japanese researchers also found that those who slept seven hours but took naps during the day were found to live just as long as those who slept seven hours and no more.

Even though studies are showing that a seven hour slumber can lead to a longer life, according to the National Sleep Foundation Americans are still experiencing sleepiness and fatigue while at work and school. Fifty-five percent of young adults surveyed said they felt “unrefreshed” when waking up in the morning. Over half of adults surveyed said they felt their sleepiness interfered with their concentration at work and ability to stay focused.



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