Optimal Sleep Duration for Health Unveiled by Researchers: Dietary Tips for Sound Sleep

Sleep is becoming more and more important to our health. We found that people who slept less than seven hours a night and then added an extra hour each evening consumed 270 calories per day less on average than their sleep-deprived friends. Sleeping enough is important, but it has a far greater impact than what you eat.

According to a new study published on April 28 in the journal Nature Ageing, adults who sleep seven hours per night are more likely to age with better cognitive performance and mental health.

Find out why seven hours is the sweet spot for sleep, and what happens when you go over or under that number. Also, find out the foods that can help with better sleep.

What this Sleep Analysis Found
Scientists from the U.Ok. The UK Biobank contains information on 40,000 adults aged between 38 and 73. They focused on reviews of sleep habits, psychological health, cognitive testing and mind imaging.

The researchers found that both too much and too little sleep can cause:

Affect cognitive tasks like processing speed, memory, problem-solving abilities and a spotlight
Signs of sadness and anxiety should be extra obvious
Total decrease in well-being scores
According to the Facilities for Illness Prevention and Management, about 35% of American adults are sleeping less than seven hours a night. This means that more than one third of us are not doing our brains any good.

Lady sleeping in a mattress with stars on the background Credit: Getty Images / andreswd

After six hours, the brain begins to “cement”, what it has learned since the last sleep, and is prepared to flush waste by-products such as beta amyloids or tau protein. These poisonous metabolites will increase the risk of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease if they are allowed to build up in the brain.

If you think you can “financial bank” your sleep by taking naps at the weekend, you’re wrong. Consistency is key. Researchers say that a large variation in sleep duration is linked to increased irritation and a greater risk of certain age-related illnesses.

Related: 7-Day Diet Plan for Healthy Growing older from Within Out

Our analysis of people over a long period of time seems to support this idea. The reasons why older people have less sleep may be complex, and are a combination of genetics and brain structure. Jianfeng Feng, an examine co-author and professor at Fudan College, China, told College of Cambridge Information that the reason for this is complex.

Barbara Sahakian is another co-author, and a professor of psychiatry at the College of Cambridge.

Sleep is important at any age, but especially as we grow older. Sahakian told College of Cambridge Information that finding ways to improve sleep for older people is crucial to helping them maintain good mental health and wellbeing and to avoid cognitive decline. This is especially true for patients with psychiatric problems and dementia.

What is a sleep disorder and could you have one?

The 10 Best Sleeping Foods
You can help your body reach the seven-hour mark by adding these foods to your diet. Or, if you are already there, you can continue to sleep well. Add these sleep-promoting foods to your diet, according to the Sleep Basis and American Sleep Affiliation.

Tart cherries and tart cherry juice
Fatty fish
Hen or Turkey
Entire grains
We have created a 3-day meal plan for better sleep to guide you through each meal.

The Backside Line
According to research, a sleep duration of between seven and eight hour is ideal for health and longevity.

A well-balanced diet that includes sleep-supporting foods can make it easier to get the daily snooze you need. But it’s not just about what you eat. The quality of your sleep can be affected by your sleeping environment, bedtime routine, and much more. Discover 4 ways to improve your sleep and steal 13 secrets that helped a woman sleep better in only a week.