Study: Go Ahead, Stay Up an Extra Hour

We may not need as much sleep as previously thought

New research suggests not getting a full eight hours of sleep a night may be just fine.

For years, we've been told eight hours is about the healthy amount of sleep for the average adult to get per night.  That seems to be changing.  Multiple recent sleep studies are now showing that the ideal amount of sleep may be closer to seven hours per night.

One of those studies done by the National Sleep Foundation put the number at seven hours and thirteen minutes of sleep per night.  However, even with the lowered number, most people say they're still coming up short. 

In that particular study, most of the adults said they got about six and a half hours per night.  Sixty-nine percent said they got less than the ideal seven hours.

A change from the long-standing standard of eight hours to seven hours may not seem significant, but those are valuable minutes. Some research has suggested that losing even 20 minutes of your ideal sleep can affect memory and performance the following day.

Scientists are trying to get the word out. The Sleep Research Society and American Academy of Sleep Medicine have partnered with the Centers for Disease Control to develop new sleep guidelines and encourage people to get at least seven hours of sleep per night.

They also recommend keeping a sleep diary and keep track of what they call your weekly "sleep debt." Once you have a look at your sleep patterns, you can discuss them with your doctor.

The Sleep Research Society claims that 70 million Americans suffer from some sort of sleep disorder.

Contact Us