According to a new study by Canadian neuroscientists published in the journal Sleep, preliminary results from their world’s largest sleep study show that people who sleep an average of seven to eight hours a night. People who slept less or more than that showed better cognitive performance than those who slept less or more.
According to the study, about half of the participants reported that they typically slept less than 6.3 hours a night, an hour less than the study suggested.
One striking finding is that sleep affects all adults equally. The amount of sleep associated with highly functional cognitive behavior (7-8 hours) was the same for everyone, regardless of age. In addition, injuries associated with too little or too much sleep were not associated with the age of the participants.
Lead author Conor Wilder, research assistant at the Irvine Laboratory, said: “We found that the optimal amount of sleep to keep the brain at its best was seven to eight hours a night. We also found that those who slept more than that suffered the same damage as those who slept too little. ”
In addition, the study found that participants’ reasoning and speech skills were the two most affected by sleep, while short-term memory performance was relatively unaffected, contrary to the findings of most scientific studies on total sleep deprivation. It also suggests that the effects of prolonged sleep deprivation on the brain are different from those of staying up late.
On the positive side, there is evidence that even a single night’s sleep can affect a person’s ability to think. Participants who slept more than usual the night before the study performed better than those who slept the same amount of time as usual or slept less.
The world’s largest sleep study was launched in June 2017, and within days, more than 40,000 people from around the world took part in an online scientific survey that included in-depth questionnaires and a range of cognitive performance activities.