Are You Sleeping Your Life Away?

We all need a good night's sleep -- regularly -- to keep us on our physical, mental, and emotional game, but is it possible to get too much sleep?
It seems so. Too many ZZZs might actually shorten your life, according to some research. What counts as enough, but not too much, sleep? That's tricky, because sleep -- like underwear -- isn't a one-size-fits-all proposition. Your ideal sleep prescription depends somewhat on how much you're sleeping now, according to a study of more than 10,000 people. Here's the breakdown:
  • When people who usually slept 5 or 6 hours a night bumped up their nightly ZZZs to 7 or 8 hours, they added years to their lives. Use this bedtime checklist of do's and don'ts to boost your time between the sheets.
  • When people who normally slept 7 to 8 hours got more sleep, their risk of dying early rose 75%.
  • When people who were comfortable sleeping 6 to 8 hours a night cut their sleep short, they didn't do well, and raised their mortality risk 62% over their peers.
Goldilocks had it right. When it comes to sleep, you need to find what's right for you (probably between 7 and 8 hours). If you're having trouble sleeping at night or staying awake during the day, see a doc to determine if something other than your time with the sandman is the cause.


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