According to new recommendations from a panel led by a University of Washington sleep expert, adults needs at least 7 hours of sleep each night for best health.
The panel analyzed data from 5,300 scientific articles to determine the optimal amount of sleep each night for best health. The researchers found that people should be getting 7 hours of sleep, but 9 or more hours each night may be best for young adults, ill patients, and people recovering from sleep deficits.
Sleeping less than 7 hours each night is associated with depression, diabetes, heart disease, hypertension, and weight gain and obesity, as well as an increased risk for early death. Not enough sleep is also associated with decreased work performance, increased risk of accidents and errors, greater pain sensitivity, and reduced immune system function.
"Seven hours - that's the lower limit of the threshold," said Dr. Nathaniel F. Watson, a professor of neurology and co-director of the UW Medicine Sleep Center. "We don't want people walking away thinking, 'I need only seven hours of sleep a night.'"
Seven hours of shut-eye: That’s the minimum amount of sleep that adults need each night for best health, according to new recommendations from a panel led by a University of Washington sleep expert.