Sleep is often linked to psychological issues, how much and when is enough?

There are many links to psychological conditions and our sleep. We must get 8 hours, best before midnight etc. Whats true though?

 

Monday’s medical myth: You need eight hours of continuous sleep each night

Waking up in the night is perfectly normal.

We’re often told by the popular press and well-meaning family and friends that, for good health, we should fall asleep quickly and sleep solidly for about eight hours—otherwise we’re at risk of physical and psychological ill health.

 There is some evidence to suggest that those who consistently restrict their sleep to less than six hours may have increased risk of cardiovascular disease, obesity and diabetes. The biggest health risk of sleep deprivation comes from accidents, especially falling asleep while driving. Sleep need varies depending on the individual and can be anywhere from 12 hours in long-sleeping children, to six hours in short-sleeping healthy older adults. But despite the prevailing belief, normal sleep is not a long, deep valley of unconsciousness. The sleep period is made up of 90-minute cycles. Waking up between these sleep cycles is a normal part of the sleep pattern and becomes more common as we get older. It’s time to set the record straight about the myth of continuous sleep—and hopefully alleviate some of the anxiety that comes from laying in bed awake at night. So what are the alternatives to continuous sleep?

The siesta

The siesta sleep quota is made up of a one- to two-hour sleep in the early afternoon and a longer period of five to six hours late in the night. Like mammals and birds, humans tend to be most active around dawn and dusk and less active in the middle of the day. It’s thought the siesta was the dominant sleep pattern before the industrial revolution required people to be continuously awake across the day to serve the sleepless industrial machine. It’s still common in rural communities around the world, not just in Mediterranean or Latin American cultures. Our siesta tendency or post-lunch decline of alertness still occurs in those who never take afternoon naps. And this has less to do with overindulging at lunchtime and more to do with our circadian rhythms, which control our body clock, hormone production, temperature and digestive function over a 24-hour period
Read more at: http://medicalxpress.com/news/2012-08-monday-medical-myth-hours-eachnight.html#jCp (http://medicalxpress NULL.com/news/2012-08-monday-medical-myth-hours-eachnight NULL.html#jCp)

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