How Much Sleep Do We Need?

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Everyone has their own theory on how much sleep we need. Well, one thing is certain: If I don't get eight hours of sleep, I'm going to be tired and grouchy, and my eyes will be puffy all day. Researchers at the National Sleep Foundation will tell you that there is no "magic number." Sleep needs are individual, and people of the same age and gender may require different amounts of sleep. The question remains: How much is too much or too little?

Lack of sleep can lead to serious health consequences. Sleep deprivation causes increased likelihood of obesity, increased risk of heart problems and diabetes, and increased risk for psychiatric conditions including substance abuse and depression. Not getting enough sleep can also inhibit your productivity and decrease your memory.

Kristen L. Knutson, PhD, Department of Health Studies, University of Chicago says, "Currently, there is no strong evidence that sleeping too much has detrimental health consequences, or even evidence that our bodies will allow us to sleep much beyond what is required."

So with that, I'm going to bed and sleeping late!

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