Women who slept for between five and six-and-a-half hours each night had the best long-term survival rate.
Women who think they aren’t getting enough beauty sleep shouldn’t worry – resting for between five and six and a half hours a night are more likely to live longer, research claims.
Those who get slightly less than the healthy recommended amount of seven hours tend to outlive those who sleep much more.
The researchers hope their findings will help dismiss the commonly-held belief that people aren’t getting enough sleep.
While adults are advised to have at between seven and nine hours a night to stay healthy, many end up getting much less.
This latest study involving 459 elderly women in America found that those who slept for between five and six and a half hours a night had the longest survival rates.
Researchers from the San Diego School of Medicine have been monitoring the participants aged between 50 to 81 since 1995 to try and establish a link between sleep and mortality.
In their first study they worked out peoples’ sleeping habits using wrist activity monitors, which are able to tell whether a person is awake or asleep by how much they move and then count up the overall hours of sleep a night.
Last year the researchers tried to get back in touch with all the women 14 years later to find out whether they were still alive.
They established that those who had more than six and a half hours sleep a night or less than five were far less likely to be alive today.
Professor Daniel Kripke said: ‘The surprise was that when sleep was measured objectively, the best survival was observed among women who slept 5 to 6.5 hours.’
‘Women who slept less than five hours a night or more than 6.5 hours were less likely to be alive at the 14-year follow-up.’
Professor Kripke said the study, published in the journal Sleep, should allay some people’s fears that they’re not getting enough sleep.
He added: ‘This means that women who sleep as little as five to six-and-a-half hours have nothing to worry about since that amount of sleep is evidently consistent with excellent survival.
‘That is actually about the average measured sleep duration for San Diego women.’
Around one third of the UK adult population regularly sleeps five hours or less a night.
But many celebrities and successful figures of the past have been known to get much less.
Madonna, Margaret Thatcher and Florence Nightingale are amongst those who survived on four hours sleep a night, while scientist Nikola Tesla, who helped invent x-rays, had just two hours sleep a night.
Long term studies show that those who drop down to five hours or fewer face a 70 per cent extra risk of dying from all causes.
Via Daily Mail