How much sleep do we ACTUALLY need?

We’re sorry to be the bearers of bad news, but it looks like too much sleep can lead to increased mortality.

According to  Sydney Morning Herald  a recent University of Sydney study suggests there is such a thing as ‘too much sleep‘, and it is detrimental to our health.

‘Over sleeping‘ is identified as sleeping for more than nine hours and over the six-year study period, habitual over sleeping was found to increase the risk of death by 44 per cent.

how much sleep do you need
So sleeping too much is clearly bad for you, but sleeping less is detrimental to your health too.

Conversely, under sleeping (sleeping for fewer than seven hours) increased mortality risks by nine per cent.

So sleeping too much is clearly bad for you, but sleeping less is detrimental to your health too.

What would happen if you didn’t sleep at all (with thanks to TedX):

Video via TED-Ed

If that is the case, exactly how much sleep are you supposed to get each night?

Advertisement

Well, the findings of this study suggest between seven and nine hours sleep per night is optimal. The US National Sleep Foundation’s website supports these figures, but also recommends factors such as age and weight be taken into account. You can find their break down of suggested sleep here.

One of the studies authors, Associate Professor Emmanuel Stamatakis recognises, ‘reverse causality’ may be a potential cause for increased mortality.

“Long sleeping times could be indicative of an underlying, undiagnosed disease,” he told SMH.

The study also suggests inactivity during waking hours, alcohol consumption, poor diet and smoking are contributors to increased mortality.

How much sleep do you manage each night?

JOIN THE CONVERSATION