LONDON: In today's hectic world, it may be difficult for many to get adequate sleep. But, those who manage to clock up seven hours of shut-eye every night can slash the risk of health problems.
According to a study by scientists in Britain, seven hours of sleep is a must for sound health as it reduces the risk of heart problems, but getting an hour more or less can be fatal, the Daily Mail reported here on Tuesday.
"Sleep represents the daily process of physiological restitution and recovery, and lack of sleep has far-reaching effects. Our findings indicate that consistently sleeping around seven hours per night is optimal for health," lead researcher Professor Francesco Cappuccio, of the University of Warwick's medical school, was quoted as saying.
However, he said that "insufficient sleep is a risk factor" particularly in weight gain, high blood pressure and type two diabetes.
"Fewer hours of sleep and greater levels of sleep disturbance have become widespread in industrialised societies. This change, largely the result of sleep curtailment to create more time for leisure and shift-work, has meant that reports of fatigue, tiredness and excessive daytime sleepiness are more common," the researcher said.
In fact, Prof Cappuccio and his team came to the conclusion after studying how sleep patterns affected death rates among 10,308 people. The researchers examined data for 1985-88 and for those still alive in 1992-23.
Once adjustments were made for factors such as age, smoking and illness, the study was able to isolate the effect of changes in sleep patterns.
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