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Read it at New Scientist

Seven Hours of Sleep is Best?

In a recent study, researchers found that "people who sleep for eight hours or more every night have a higher death rate than those who average six to seven hours."

Bad news for me, at least on weekends.

But, of course, many experts are skeptical of the findings anyway.

Over a million people were surveyed to arrive at these findings, which contradict the idea that sleep deprivation and insomnia are health risks and that extra sleep leads to a longer life.

In New Scientist, Bruce Carnes of the University of Chicago says it is not possible to assign simple mortality risks to different sleep durations. "Everybody is unique and has a different ideal sleeping time," he says.

Daniel Kripke at University of California, San Diego led the study. In New Scientist, he says, "Sleep length might affect cytokines, which are transmitters that affect inflammation, and this might somehow influence mortality." He also suggests that people who sleep longer may also have an increased risk of sleep apnea, which is when breathing stops during sleep.

The study also found that insomnia sufferers who regularly took sleeping pills were more likely to die sooner than their counterparts who did not take sleeping pills.

Ah, statistics. Ya gotta love 'em.

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Computers have brought about fundamental changes in the way we communicate -- and with this comes the potential for an unprecedented era in human liberty.
Michael Stutz

Esperanto League
for North America

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