You know how everyone says that 8 hours is the amount of sleep you need every night? Well, there was a study at UCSD that showed that as far as health benefits are concerned, 8 hours isn’t the ideal; it’s actually 6.5. The study looked at 1.1 million people’s sleep over the course of 6 years, and looked at the relationship between amount of sleep and patients’ longevity. The study found that sleeping as little as 5 hours per night is better for you than sleeping 8, and it even determined that insomnia is better for you, long-term health wise, than taking sleeping pills.
Have you been stressing about getting more sleep? It turns out that, statistically speaking, if you sleep 5 hours each night, you’re better off than if you’d have slept 8. According to the study, 6.5 hours is the sweet spot for lowering your risk of cancer. In an amazing study, a UCSD professor of psychiatry specializing in sleep research and aging has determined that there is no statistical health-related reason to sleep longer than 6.5 hours per night.
It’s hard to argue with him. He is using sleep data from the Cancer Prevention Study II (CPSII) of the American Cancer Society. In fact, that data shows that sleeping 5 hours per night (as I’ve done for the last 18 months) is slightly *safer* than sleeping 8 hours per night, at least if you define safe as “not dying.” Check out the charts: