The Dangers of Oversleeping

Buried deep in a long piece about the perils of taking sleeping pills -- a subject I discuss often on my blog -- I found a gem of a discovery, based on a six-year study of more than a million adults between ages 30-102.

Patients who got between 6-7 hours of sleep a night have a lower mortality rate than did those who got 8 hours. In fact, the lead researcher believes there's little evidence supporting the notion that a patient who sleeps 8 hours a night functions any better than one who sleeps no more than 7 hours. Moreover, those who sleep less than half that much -- 3.5 hours -- live longer too.

Nevertheless, the trick here is to optimize your lifestyle so the sleep you get every night is restful, restorative and drug-free. If you have sleep problem that are unrelated to conditions like sleep apnea, I urge you to review my 29 Secrets to a Good Night's Sleep.

Live Science March 23, 2006

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