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One Snooze Too Many

Filed Under: Sexual Health at 5:00 pm | By: Susan Coyle, Senior Editor
Alarm ClockDo you remember college and high school when the weekends were filled with hours upon hours of sleep? Maybe you went to bed at three or four in the morning, but you slept at least that far into the afternoon, stumbling out from under the covers in time for dinner, a shower, a nap and the evening’s events. You easily logged 12 hours a night. Now you’re lucky if you get six. You dream (daydream – no time for nocturnal REM) about your younger, sloth-like days. They were glorious; you long for their return. But don’t get too nostalgic.

Just as too little sleep does, too much hurts your health.  More than nine hours a night shortens your life, making you more susceptible to death via any non-cardiovascular condition. Cancer or depression or another such disease invades your slumbering self, weakening your body with every extra hour. It’s unclear why this happens – It’s possible that the lengthier snooze times are merely an indicator of a preexisting condition – but it’s certain that it does.  Every time you hit the snooze button, you’re stalling health.

Ideally, you want to log between seven and eight hours of sleep a night. Nine is too many; five is too few. But don’t become obsessed with hitting the magical sleep number. Seven or eight is a guideline for the general population.  You are an individual. You may require a little more or a little less to operate at your best. Determine what span works best for you and then, try to sleep for that many hours each night. Consistency and routine will enable you to make the most of your mattress-time.

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