Have scientists found the perfect amount of sleep?
Do you ever wonder how much sleep
you really need or if that Sunday morning lie in will leave you
worse off? New research published in the journal Sleep, could help
to gauge how much sleep we actually need.
The study used the data of 1,885 men
and 1,875 women collected from the Finnish "Health 200" survey.
Results showed that those who took the least amount of sick days
slept on average 7.5 hours (for women) and 7.8 hours (for men) per
night. The research highlighted that those who got more or less
than the "perfect" average of hours per sleep had a higher risk for
sickness absence, rising to eight more days a year. Although there
is a clear correlation between lack of sleep or too much sleep and
increased number of sick days, it does not mean one is caused by
The research also found that male
participants reported using sleeping pills more often and females
found that the seasons had a greater effect on their sleep
duration. The study supports previous research, which suggests the
optimum hours of sleep is somewhere between five and nine hours per
night. It is known that we need to adjust sleep by age and by the
individual, making it difficult to give a definitive answer as to
exactly how much sleep is required.