Sleep: Are you getting too little or too much?
Hi there. Kimberly MD, here with the first in a new series of weekly quick tips that will help you start improving your sleep today. I'm glad you're here. So you've probably heard me talk about all the problems associated with insufficient sleep, including effects on your memory, your concentration, even your mood. But did you know that getting too much sleep has also been associated with memory problems?
So a recent study published in the journal Nature Aging studied almost 5000 adults from the UK. The participants were asked about their sleep duration and were asked to perform a number of cognitive tasks over time. Interestingly, the researchers found that both insufficient and excessive sleep were both associated with impaired performance on these tests. And these findings were most pronounced in people over age 50. They identified that 7 hours per night was the optimal amount of sleep for best cognitive performance, but also for the best mental health.
In fact, people experienced more symptoms of anxiety and depression and worse overall well-being if they reported sleeping for longer or shorter than 7 hours per night. So, a few things to note on this study 94% of the subjects were of white European descent. So these findings may not be applicable to everyone. And they aren't able to say that getting too little or too much sleep causes problems with thinking or mood, just that those that reported 7 hours of sleep performed the best and reported the best mental health. So what does this study mean to me?
Well, it's more evidence that our sleep is tied to our memory, mood and overall well-being. And in this study, once we reach 7 hours of sleep nightly, more doesn't exactly mean better. So that being said, each of us has a unique requirement for the amount of sleep that is right for you. And that is usually the one where you can wake up on your own, feel refreshed, and function well during the day. So, thanks for being here.
I'll see you in the next video.