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7 or 8 Hours of Sleep Best for Health

Shorter, longer rest periods were tied to increased death risk, research shows

TUESDAY, Dec. 4 (HealthDay News) -- 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.

More information

The U.S. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke has more about sleep.

-- Robert Preidt

SOURCE: American Academy of Sleep Medicine, news release, Dec. 1, 2007

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