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The Sleep Sweet Spot

The Sleep Sweet Spot

If your have long forgotten your mother telling you to get your beauty rest or get the heck out of bed, then perhaps this will stick with you: Less than six hours—or more than nine hours—of sleep per night has recently been linked to an increased risk of obesity, a lack of physical activity, and a higher chance of being a smoker and drinker.

The study, done by the National Center for Health Statistics, showed that about 33% of those who slept less than the six-hour minimum were obese. But on the flipside of the spectrum, study participants who slept nine hours or more were found to have an obesity rate of 26%. Normal sleepers were the thinnest at 22%. What’s more, people who got too little zzz’s each night proved to have a 31% smoking rate, as opposed to those who got nine who came in at 26%.

When it came to alcohol consumption, people who slept the least showed the greatest usage, but the rates were fairly similar between those who got between seven and nine hours of sleep. And too little sleep also proved to be a deal-breaker with getting your groove-thang on at the gym: Almost half of the participants who slept nine hours or more were physically inactive in their free time, far exceeding those who were light and proper sleepers.

It reminds you of Goldilocks, right? Not too much, not too little, but just right. To live healthier, keep the blond-haired cutie in mind next time you hit the sack. [Associate Press]

Posted: 5/8/08