Getting the right amount of sleep is very important; too much or too little can affect our health and wellbeing. There are different recommendations on the duration of sleep considered ideal. However, a new study published in the journal Nature Aging found the ideal number of hours of sleep needed for optimal health is 7 hours in adults aged 38 years and older.
The study used data from the UK Biobank of individuals aged 38–73 years, mostly of European ancestry. The participants were queried about their sleep habits and mental health. The analysis revealed that both insufficient and excessive sleep duration was significantly associated with a decline in cognition. According to the study, there is a nonlinear relationship between getting an optimal duration of sleep and cognitive factors. Hence, to promote senior wellness and optimal health, older individuals must have at least 7 hours of sleep every day.
“Getting a good night’s sleep is a basic part of integrative medicine as it is important at all stages of life, particularly as we age. Finding ways to improve sleep for older people could be crucial to helping maintain good mental health and wellbeing and avoiding cognitive decline, particularly for patients with psychiatric disorders and dementia,” Barbara Sahakian, an author of the study, said in the statement.
The study has some limitations: ninety-four percent of the participants were of European ancestry and caucasian. It is not known how this study would affect people of color. In addition, the study focused on the duration of sleep rather than the quality of sleep.
Source: Nature Aging