Sleep is essential for optimal health. The American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM) and Sleep Research Society (SRS) developed a consensus recommendation for the amount of sleep needed to promote optimal health in adults. Findings:
- Adults should sleep 7 or more hours per night on a regular basis to promote optimal health.
- Sleeping less than 7 hours per night on a regular basis is associated with adverse health outcomes, including weight gain and obesity, diabetes, hypertension, heart disease and stroke, depression and increased risk of death. Sleeping less than 7 hours per night is also associated with impaired immune function, increased pain, impaired performance, increased errors and greater risk of accidents.
- Sleeping more than 9 hours per night on a regular basis may be appropriate for young adults, individuals recovering from sleep debt and individuals with illnesses. For others it is uncertain whether sleeping more than 9 hours per night is associated with health risk.
- Healthy sleep requires adequate duration, good quality, appropriate timing and regularity and the absence of sleep disturbances or disorders.
- Current evidence supports the general recommendation for obtaining 7 or more hours of sleep per night on a regular basis to promote optimal health among adults aged 18 to 60 years.
- Employers are encouraged to promote good sleeping habits in all workers, and in particular shift workers.