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Could 7 hours of sleep be better than 8?

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We were all raised with a few universal health tenets. An apple a day keeps the scary doctors away, you better stay out of that swimming pool if you ate lunch less than an hour ago and eight hours of Zzzzs constitutes a full night’s rest. Duh, right?

Well, several sleep studies are questioning the whole eight hours thing—and it taking a step further to say that seven hours of sleep may be the ideal amount. (We’ll have to address apples and swimming on a full tummy in another post!) 

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Seeing as how I love sleep almost as much as I love my husband, this news isn’t something I’m taking lightly.

A six-year study involving 1.1 million people conducted by the University of California San Diego concluded that people who slept 6.5 to 7.4 hours a night had a lower mortality rate than those with shorter or longer average sleep times. (Let the mental math commence!)

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The Seven-Hour Club has its haters, though. Some experts are wary of reports advising against too much sleep, because we need to factor in the fact that some illnesses may cause folks to spend way more time snoozing in bed and therefore throw off the numbers. Not to mention that people aren’t always accurate when they’re asked to self-monitor—and we need to account for genetic differences and predispositions, no? Some of you weirdos claim to only need 5 hours. (WTH??)

The good news is that the CDC is helping to fund a panel that will review existing research and present a plan of attack for the rest of us, hopefully by 2015.

In the meantime, I’m going to stick with my tried-and-true beauty regimen of sleeping as much as I possibly can. Who’s with me?

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