Study Shows Excess of Sleep Is Bad for Your Overall Health
It has become a fact that many people around the world are not getting enough sleep because of various reasons including night work shifts, fussy baby routines, insomnia, and increasingly an excessive use of screens on tabs and cell phones. However, we know that people are usually stressed out in the morning especially when they do not get a good quality of sleep the night before.
Many research studies have been conducted over time to observe the impact of sleep patterns on an individual’s overall health. However, these research works have largely focused on sleep deprivation and its impact on the quality of life a person lives.
Through these studies we have established that sleep deprivation has various negative effects on our body, including weakening of the immune system, hypertension, decreased focused, lack of logical reasoning, increased risks of accidents, diabetes, weight gain, poor heart health, and a reduced drive for intimacy.
A Shift In Focus
Generally, people are aware of the fact that getting the optimum amount of sleep is necessary for improved mental and physical health. Remaining sleep deprived for a long period of time can have devastating impacts on your overall health, including damage to your heart according to some studies.
However, research now also suggests that getting more than 8 hours of sleep can also have damaging effects on your body. One of the largest studies on sleep patterns has been conducted by the Brain and Mind Institute located at Western University by a group of neuroscientists along with 40,000 participants from different parts of the world. An online questionnaire was formulated to gather scientific data about sleep patterns of the respondents along with data about their activities to assess their cognitive performance.
The Study Methodology
The purpose of the study was to gather information about sleep patterns of individuals of varying ethnicities around the world. Although in the past similar studies have been conducted, but this time participants from different parts of the world have been involved in it.
The research participants filled out questionnaires and provided information about their age, ethnicity, education, occupation, sleep habits, their general routine of the day, and any medication they had been prescribed by their doctor. Surprisingly, data showed that more than half of participants were receiving an average daily sleep of less than 5 to 6 hours.
However, the research presented another revelation. The respondents, whose average sleep was less than 4 hours per day, were lacking in their cognitive skills. They showed performance in cognitive activities similar to a child who is less than 10 years old.
Also, it was revealed that the sleep amount required for optimum levels of performance in cognitive activities was the same for different individuals of varying ethnicities; at least 7 hours and not greater than 8 hours.
Out of cognitive skills, the worst performance was shown in verbal and analytical reasoning skills by respondents whose sleep patterns were more or less than the recommended amount. Memory-related skills were, however, not affected by sleep habits.
The Optimal Amount of Sleep
The research recommended that people should have at least 6 to 8 hours of sleep to perform at their optimum level. Our brain needs this amount of sleep to function properly. Besides mental health, 6 to 8 hours of sleep is also required for maintaining optimal physical health as well, as the risk of getting diabetes, hypertension, and heart-related problems increases if one sleeps for more or less than the optimum amount.
Research showed that poor health conditions and loss of cognitive skills was observed in patients who slept more than optimum amount. Whatever the amount of sleep you are having, it will directly impact your central nervous system. New pathways of neurons are formed during your sleep, which impacts the overall health of body.
Previously, a similar kind of research was conducted and presented to the Cardiology European Society in Munich. The findings of that study supported the evidence collected in this current research.
The Cardiology European Society studied the impact of result on the heart health of individuals. Data of around one million respondents showed that individuals who were sleep deprived or slept in excess of 8 hours at night developed a higher risk of developing heart-related diseases. In conclusion, the research recommended that, for improved heart health, a person should avoid sleeping for more than 8 hours or less than 6 hours.
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