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Hit your sleep sweet spot

More isn't always better.

THE GIST
The cultural conversation advocates for getting more rest, but a new meta-analysis suggests otherwise.

According to the study, sleeping an average of nine hours was linked to a 14 percent increased risk of dying early compared to sleeping seven to eight hours per night. Getting fewer than seven hours wasn’t associated with a significant increase in risk.
EXPERT INSIGHT
The study was observational, so the researchers can’t say whether certain risk factors cause people to oversleep or vice versa. But healthy people seem better equipped to feel well-rested on eight (or fewer) hours of sleep, says study author Chun Shing Kwok, clinical lecturer in cardiology at Keele University in Staffordshire, England.

His research raises awareness about the dangers of oversleeping. It could signal cardiovascular risk factors like anemia, depression, sleep apnea, or hypothyroidism, he says.
THE BOTTOM LINE
When it comes to sleep, there is such a thing as too much. Aim for seven to eight hours per night, Kwok says. If you still feel sluggish, focus on quality control rather than simply getting more shut-eye. Try things like meditation to reduce stress and follow these five rules for a better sleep.