Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Oversleepers may die early

15.02.2002


Seven hours sleep a night could be the optimum
© PhotoDisc


’Sleeping your life away’ could be more than a saying.

Excessive sleeping may increase your risk of an early death by up to 15%. So hints a new analysis of data collected on one million people by the American Cancer Society. The figures cast doubt on the reputed benefits of eight hours’ sleep a night.

People with the longest lives get only seven hours of sleep each night, find psychiatrists at the University of California, San Diego1. Why seven is the magic number is not clear. And sleeping more appears to be riskier than sleeping less. On the short side, increased mortality kicks in only when you get below four hours.



This unprecedented peek into the habits of so many people claims to be the first to determine the relationship between sleep and mortality, while controlling for other factors such as weight, smoking and exercise.

Currently, the average American gets about six-and-a-half hours sleep, much lower than the standard recommendation of eight hours. The new analysis suggests that patients may seek treatments unnecessarily in attempts to attain the eight-hour target.

"If people don’t sleep eight hours, they have nothing to worry about," says Daniel Kripke, a member of the team.

Insomniacs, the data suggest, have no greater risk of premature death. Sleeping pills, in contrast, might just shave some days off your life. Kripke’s group plans to conduct experiments to determine whether setting the alarm clock can lengthen survival.

But critics of the study hope it will not be over-interpreted. They point out that the enormous data set - part of a cancer prevention study in the 1980s - was not specifically designed to analyse sleep. Insomnia was not defined, sleeping pills were not identified, and those surveyed reported their own sleep behaviour in one-hour increments, leaving little room for fine detail.

"I do not think there is a specific survival advantage to short-changing ourselves from sleep," says Daniel Buysse, a sleep specialist at the University of Pittsburgh. More targeted studies are needed to explore the implications of excess sleep, he adds.

And there are trade-offs to consider. Cranky moods, heightened susceptibility to disease, and glucose intolerance are just some of the side-effects of sleep deprivation that diminish quality of life, even if they don’t cause early death.


References


  1. Kripke, D.F., Lawrence, G., Wingard, D.L., Klauber, M.R & Marler, M.R. Mortality associated with sleep duration and insomnia. Archives of General Psychiatry, 59, 131 - 136, (2002).


VIRGINIA GEWIN | © Nature News Service
Further information:
http://www.nature.com/nsu/020211/020211-12.html

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht World first: Massive thrombosis removed during early pregnancy
20.07.2017 | Universitätsspital Bern

nachricht Therapy of preterm birth in sight?
19.07.2017 | Universitätsspital Bern

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Manipulating Electron Spins Without Loss of Information

Physicists have developed a new technique that uses electrical voltages to control the electron spin on a chip. The newly-developed method provides protection from spin decay, meaning that the contained information can be maintained and transmitted over comparatively large distances, as has been demonstrated by a team from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics and the Swiss Nanoscience Institute. The results have been published in Physical Review X.

For several years, researchers have been trying to use the spin of an electron to store and transmit information. The spin of each electron is always coupled...

Im Focus: The proton precisely weighted

What is the mass of a proton? Scientists from Germany and Japan successfully did an important step towards the most exact knowledge of this fundamental constant. By means of precision measurements on a single proton, they could improve the precision by a factor of three and also correct the existing value.

To determine the mass of a single proton still more accurate – a group of physicists led by Klaus Blaum and Sven Sturm of the Max Planck Institute for Nuclear...

Im Focus: On the way to a biological alternative

A bacterial enzyme enables reactions that open up alternatives to key industrial chemical processes

The research team of Prof. Dr. Oliver Einsle at the University of Freiburg's Institute of Biochemistry has long been exploring the functioning of nitrogenase....

Im Focus: The 1 trillion tonne iceberg

Larsen C Ice Shelf rift finally breaks through

A one trillion tonne iceberg - one of the biggest ever recorded -- has calved away from the Larsen C Ice Shelf in Antarctica, after a rift in the ice,...

Im Focus: Laser-cooled ions contribute to better understanding of friction

Physics supports biology: Researchers from PTB have developed a model system to investigate friction phenomena with atomic precision

Friction: what you want from car brakes, otherwise rather a nuisance. In any case, it is useful to know as precisely as possible how friction phenomena arise –...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Closing the Sustainability Circle: Protection of Food with Biobased Materials

21.07.2017 | Event News

»We are bringing Additive Manufacturing to SMEs«

19.07.2017 | Event News

The technology with a feel for feelings

12.07.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

NASA looks to solar eclipse to help understand Earth's energy system

21.07.2017 | Earth Sciences

Stanford researchers develop a new type of soft, growing robot

21.07.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Vortex photons from electrons in circular motion

21.07.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>