Those who get less than six hours sleep each night are 12% more likely to die over a 25-year period than those who get the recommended six to eight hours, a new study has found.
The study, published in Sleep journal, was conducted on 1.5 million people over the course of 16 surveys. Researchers found that those who sleep more than nine hours every night were also at a higher risk of early death, but pointed out that sleeping so much could be linked to other health problems.
“Whilst short sleep may represent a cause of ill health, long sleep is believed to represent more an indicator of ill health,” said Professor Francesco Cappuccio, who led the study and is head of the Sleep, Health and Society programme at the University of Warwick, the Guardian reported.
The expert added that more research was needed to determine exactly why sleep was so important for good health.
Professor Jim Horne, of the Loughborough Sleep Research Centre, remarked that other factors may need to be considered, such as the link between sleep and conditions like depression, the BBC reported.
“Sleep is just a litmus paper to physical and mental health. Sleep is affected by many diseases and conditions, including depression,” he said, adding that getting improved sleep does not necessarily mean a person will feel better or live longer.
Images: geishaboy500 and sean mcgeeTags: depression