ere’s another thing insomniacs can lose sleep over: If you get only five hours of sleep every night, it doubles your chance of dying of a heart attack. That conclusion emerged from a study by British scientists of more than 10,000 civil servants over an eight-year period. Those who cut back on their slumber from seven hours a night to five or less were much more likely to develop cardiovascular problems and to die prematurely. Most human beings are programmed for about seven hours of sleep, says the study’s author, British sleep researcher Francesco Cappuccio. But in Western societies, people are surrendering shut-eye to work extra hours, watch TV, or otherwise cope with too-busy schedules. “Sleep represents the daily process of physiological restitution and recovery, and lack of sleep has far-reaching effects,” he tells BBC News. Curiously, his study found that too much sleep is just as dangerous as too little, with people who sleep more than eight hours also dying at twice the normal rate.
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- Why I'm a pro-life liberal
- 31 TV shows to watch in 2014
- If a nuclear bomb exploded in downtown Washington, what should you do?
- He said he was leaving. She ignored him.
- Why we can't stop procrastinating, according to science
- What would a U.S.-Russia war look like?
- How Ukraine can fend off the Russians, in 7 simple steps
- These stunning travel photos remind us that we're all just amateurs with iPhones
- Israel and Russia are getting along. Have the neocons noticed?
- 10 things you need to know today: April 16, 2014
Subscribe to the Week