Do You Sleep 4 Hours or Less Per Night??

Preliminary test results show that 7-8 hours of sleep a night resulted in better results on cognitive tests than less than 7-8 hours of sleep did.  Study results were released by Western University’s Brain and Mind Institute in the journal SLEEP.  Over 40,000 people worldwide were included in the study.

About 50% of them responded that they slept less than 6.3 hours per night. Most of the people who slept 4 hours or less performed on tests like they were almost 9 years older than they were.

Another surprising discovery was that the amount of time spent sleeping affected all adults equally.  Seven to eight hours of sleep correlated with high cognitive behavior regardless of age. Also, lower cognitive behavior correlated with too little or too much sleep regardless of the age of the participants.

“We found that the optimum amount of sleep to keep your brain performing its best is 7 to 8 hours every night and that corresponds to what the doctors will tell you need to keep your body in tip-top shape, as well. We also found that people that slept more than that amount were equally impaired as those who slept too little,” says Conor Wild, the lead author of the study.

Verbal skills and reasoning were the most strongly affected by the amount of sleep; short-term memory was basically unaffected.  There was also evidence that participants who slept more than their usual amount on the night before the study was done did better than those participants who slept either more than or less than their usual amount.  So much for pulling an all-nighter before a big test or presentation!!