Getting just the right amount of sleep can quite literally be a matter of life and death, according to new research.
Scientists have revealed that sleeping less than six hours a night can increase the risk of an early death while sleeping more than nine hours can also cut down life expectancy.
After analyzing data from 16 studies, involving more than 1.5 million participants, researchers found ‘unequivocal evidence' of a direct link between sleeping less than six hours a night and dying prematurely.
Too Little, Too Much
People who regularly slept less than 6 hours were 12 percent more likely to die over a period of 25 years or less than those who got the recommended six to eight hours.
An association was also seen between sleeping more than nine hours a night and early death.
Professor Francesco Cappucio, head of the Sleep, Health and Society Programme at the University of Warwick, said: ‘While short sleep may represent a cause of ill-health, long sleep is believed to represent more an indicator of ill-health.
‘Modern society has seen a gradual reduction in the average amount of sleep people take, and this pattern is more common among full-time workers, suggesting that it may be due to societal pressures for longer working hours and more shift-work.
‘On the other hand, the deterioration of our health status is often accompanied by an extension of our sleeping time.'
The research, reported in the journal Sleep, reviewed 16 prospective studies from the UK, US, Europe and Asia – which together monitored more than 1.3 people for up to 25 years. Pooling together data in this way, known as a meta-analysis, can indicate patterns and trends that may not be obvious in individual studies.
Professor Cappucio, who worked with colleagues from the Federico II University Medical School in Naples, Italy, added: ‘Consistently sleeping six to eight hours per night may be optimal for health.'
Melatonin is in fact, a hormone secreted by the brain’s pineal gland. It sets the body’s circadian rhythm, the 24-hour “clock”, that helps control when you fall asleep and wake up.
About 34 million Americans reach for the sleep remedy melatonin each year, spending a reported $378 million in 2014—lured by its reputation as an effective and natural sleep aid. But melatonin may not be as simple and safe a cure as many people hope.
Melatonin can ease sleep problems caused by shift work or jet lag. But overall, people taking the drugs fall asleep only 7 minutes faster and sleep 8 minutes longer on average, according to a 2013 analysis in the journal PLoS One.
The supplements pose some risks, too. About 20 percent of users in our survey reported next-day grogginess. And the Council for Responsible Nutrition, a supplement trade group, says to use caution before driving the next day.
If you're not getting enough sleep, there's a good chance your melatonin production is not up to par either, and this could have far-reaching impacts on your health, even accelerating the aging process of your brain.
Melatonin and Cortisol Balance via the Pineal Gland
The effect of the peptide, Epitalon, on melatonin and cortisol secretion in female rhesus monkeys of various ages, was evaluated by enzyme immunoassay. Epitalon stimulated evening melatonin production and normalized circadian rhythms of cortisol production in old monkeys.
Epiatlon's benefits go beyond melatonin and cortisol stimulation, such as increasing telomere length and health, and one of the best investments for GOOD HEALTH and LONGEVITY.