STUDY: An Extra 43 Minutes of Sleep a Night Could Improve Health

According to the CDC, adults need at least seven hours of sleep per night for good health, but most of us aren’t getting it. All kinds of things can interfere with sleep, like hormones and stress, but we tend to convince ourselves we have too much work to do or that one more episode won’t hurt, so we stay up.

But a new study from Penn State University debunks the idea that our busy lives keep us from sleep. Researchers tracked college students with hectic schedules and found when they made time for extra sleep, they not only felt less tired, their overall health improved. The undergrads who were able to squeeze in more snooze time - around 43 extra minutes a night - saw a seven-point drop in blood pressure, had better cognitive performance, and got a mood boost as well.

Sleeping can be a struggle for a lot of people, but researchers want people to better understand the benefits of getting enough of it so they’ll prioritize bedtime. Study author Dr. Anne-Marie Chang hopes the study shows that “even small changes in behavior can impact health outcomes.”

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