We all know the benefits of the “snooze” button, but how much sleep do you have to sleep to be more rested and healthy?
Although in moments of extreme exhaustion in front of the computer we give ourselves to Google “ how much sleep a day ” (spoiler: more than you sleep), the fact is that we do very little for our sleep health.
We know the typical tips : avoid screens in the hour before going to sleep, have light dinners, do not abuse alcohol, etc. But, when push comes to shove, we stretch an extra half hour with our cell phone in bed and we end up sleeping fewer hours than we have to.
This is reflected in a study by Anne-Marie Chang , associate professor of bio-behavioral health and nursing at Penn State, which has been published in the journal Sleep Health. The conclusion is clear: we know how much to sleep, but we don’t get enough sleep , and just by increasing the rest time a little we can see great benefits.
Experts recommend that young adults get 7-9 hours of sleep. Within this scale, everyone can adapt the figure to their needs depending on whether they feel tired or rested. But the fact is that 36% of us sleep less than 7 hours, and even 14% less than 6.
Professor Chang chose 53 healthy college students for the study . They had their height, weight, blood pressure and heart rate measured before the research began, and they were asked to increase their sleep time . They didn’t tell them how much more to sleep, just to increase their rest. Some slept 15 more minutes, others half an hour more (the excuse is not bad). The majority of students chose to add 43 minutes of sleep to their day. And the results were overwhelming.
Not only did mood and concentration improve, two of the first symptoms of good fatigue. When the tests were repeated a week later, the researchers found that the subjects showed fewer symptoms of tiredness throughout the day and their blood pressure appeared to be higher and more stable.
“Our participants were young and healthy, yet they still saw significant and clinically relevant improvements ,” explains the professor. It is just a sample of the benefit that a few more minutes of sleep a day can have on a person with pathologies.