Why Seven Hours of Sleep, Not Eight, May Be Best
It's long been held that eight hours is the magic number when it comes to sleeping, but that number clashes with reality--when's the last time you got a solid eight hours?
What's the Latest?
It's long been held that eight hours is the magic number when it comes to sleeping, but that number clashes with reality--when's the last time you got a solid eight hours? The magic eight is also at odds with emerging data about the health benefits of sleep. For example, "Daniel F. Kripke, an emeritus professor of psychiatry at the University of California San Diego, tracked over a six-year period data on 1.1 million people who participated in a large cancer study. People who reported they slept 6.5 to 7.4 hours had a lower mortality rate than those with shorter or longer sleep."
What's the Big Idea?
In a sleep study conducted by Duke University Medical Center in Durham, N.C., researchers found that cognitive performance increased as people got more sleep, peaking at seven hours of rest before beginning to decline. Because optimal sleep times vary across cultures and individuals, finding the right amount of sleep for you is the best way to wake up refreshed and alert. To do this, you can conduct a sleep trial next time you're on vacation (or stay-cation):
"Don't use an alarm clock. Go to sleep when you get tired. Avoid too much caffeine or alcohol. And stay off electronic devices a couple of hours before going to bed. During the trial, track your sleep with a diary or a device that records your actual sleep time. If you feel refreshed and awake during the day, you've probably discovered your optimal sleep time."
Read more at the Wall Street Journal
Photo credit: Shutterstock
The surprising results come from a new GLAAD survey.
- The survey found that 18- to 34-year-old non-LGBTQ Americans reported feeling less comfortable around LGBTQ people in a variety of hypothetical situations.
- The attitudes of older non-LGBTQ Americans have remained basically constant over the past few years.
- Overall, about 80 percent of Americans support equal rights for LGBTQ people.
Controversial map names CEOs of 100 companies producing 71 percent of the world's greenhouse gas emissions.
- Just 100 companies produce 71 percent of the world's greenhouse gases.
- This map lists their names and locations, and their CEOs.
- The climate crisis may be too complex for these 100 people to solve, but naming and shaming them is a good start.
The more we learn about the microbiome, the more the pieces are fitting together.
- A new study from the University of Central Florida makes the case for the emerging connection of autism and the human microbiome.
- High levels of Propionic Acid (PPA), used in processed foods to extend shelf life, reduces neuronal development in fetal brains.
- While more research is needed, this is another step in fully understanding the consequences of poor nutrition.
SMARTER FASTER trademarks owned by The Big Think, Inc. All rights reserved.