Sleep can help or hinder

Too much or too little sleep can boost your risk of death, British researchers report.

“In terms of prevention, our findings indicate that consistently sleeping seven or eight hours a night is optimal for health,” study author Jane E. Ferrie, of University College London Medical School, said in a prepared statement.

Her team studied more than 8,000 people, aged 35 to 55, who were followed for a number of years.

Among participants who slept six, seven or eight hours a night at the start of the study, a decrease in nightly sleep duration was associated with a 110 percent excess risk of cardiovascular-related death.

Similarly, among those who slept seven or eight hours per night at the start of the study, an increase in nightly sleep duration was associated with a 110 percent excess risk of non-cardiovascular death.

The study appears in the Dec. 1 issue of Sleep.

On average, most adults need seven to eight hours of sleep per night to feel well-rested and alert, according to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine.

  

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