Yet another study is saying it’s got the prescription for optimal sleep times.
And like many others, it’s in the 7-8 range.
But more specifically, it says that averaging 7 hours per night seems to be the ideal sleep time for older adults. The study found that those who get good sleep for 7 hours have a better attention span and ability to make decisions, remember and learn new things, and have better mental health than those who sleep for longer or shorter durations.
The study was observational, and researchers can not say for certain that too much or too little sleep causes cognitive decline.
Although more work needs to be done to determine if there is an ideal sleep time, the results here seem to line up with previous work, indicating a connection to health issues with too much or too little sleep.
Of course, when it comes to sleep, there is really no magic number that applies to everybody. Some people do better with more, while others are fine with less.
In many cases, sleep can be individualized and may depend more on quality and consistency. Other health factors may also come into play.
For example, people who get a lot of sleep may not always be getting the best quality sleep. They may have a condition – like sleep apnea, or another condition that taxes that taxes the immune system – that is wearing them out during the day and night.
Shooting for seven hours is a good strategy and potentially where you’ll land if you’re feeling well-rested each morning and sticking to a consistent sleep routine.
You can help build a solid foundation for sleep by avoiding screen time in the evening and sticking to a consistent sleep and wake-up time. Having a dark, comfortable bedroom can also help.