Too much sleep just as damaging as not enough
We’re constantly being told we’re not getting enough sleep.
And that a lack of shuteye could have knock on effects on our physical and mental health.
But new research has revealed that clocking up too many ZZZs could also have some negative impacts.
Researchers at Western University analysed the sleep habits of more than 10,000 participants – the largest project of its kind in the world – and found that getting too much sleep could be as bad for your brain as getting too little.
Participants were selected from an existing pool of more than 40,000 who signed on to be part of the world’s largest multi-national sleep study, launched in June 2017.
The study by Western’s Brain and Mind Institute and published in the journal SLEEP, confirmed sleep experts long-held belief that seven to eight hours of sleep each night is the holy grail in terms of brain performance.
For the research participants were asked to complete an online profile which included giving details about their sleep, medical history, mental health history, age and education level.
They were also asked to complete an online cognitive assessment shortly after waking up from a night’s snooze.
The games and puzzles tested a range of abilities including verbal reasoning, inhibition, short-term memory, spatial working memory and selective attention.
Researchers found the people who slept four hours or less gave a worse performance in their cognitive tasks than participants who had slept well.
But the same proved true for people who over-slept.
What’s more that particular pattern held true for people of all ages in the study.
The study found that the two traits that were most impacted by sleep duration were reasoning and language skills, while short-term memory was relatively unaffected by the amount of hours spent sleeping.