By Katie Hunt, CNN, Updated 12:13 PM EDT, Mon May 2, 2022
The optimum amount of sleep is not too little but not too much – at least in middle and old age.
New research has found that around seven hours of sleep is the ideal night’s rest, with insufficient and excessive sleep associated with a reduced ability to pay attention, remember and learn new things, solve problems and make decisions.
Seven hours of slumber was also found to be linked with better mental health, with people experiencing more symptoms of anxiety and depression and worse overall well-being if they reported sleeping for longer or shorter stints.
“While we can’t say conclusively that too little or too much sleep causes cognitive problems, our analysis looking at individuals over a longer period of time appears to support this idea,” Jianfeng Feng, a professor at China’s Fudan University and an author of the study published in the scientific journal Nature Aging, said in a statement.
“But the reasons why older people have poorer sleep appear to be complex, influenced by a combination of our genetic makeup and the structure of our brains.”