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Expert panel recommends seven hours of sleep a night


06.05.2015

 A yearlong project conducted by a consensus panel of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine and Sleep Research Society that included the Wayne State University Physician Group’s M. Safwan Badr, M.D., has led to the first recommendation by experts that adults obtain seven or more hours of sleep per night to avoid the health risks of chronic inadequate sleep.

Dr. Badr, who sees patients at the group’s CPAP clinic in Detroit, is past president of the AASM and co-wrote the guidelines, published as the statement Recommended Amount of Sleep for a Healthy Adult: A Joint Consensus Statement of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine and Sleep Research Society in the June issue of the journal SLEEP.

The panel of 15 sleep medicine and research experts used a modified RAND Appropriateness Method to develop a recommendation regarding the sleep duration or sleep duration range that promotes optimal health in adults aged 18 to 60 years.

“Nobody had sat down and looked at all of the evidence in aggregate," Dr. Badr told Today.com for a report. "This is an attempt to have one answer to tell everyone.”

People who regularly get less than seven hours of sleep experience many health problems, including weight gain, hypertension, diabetes, high blood pressure, stroke and other cardiovascular and metabolic disorders. Sleep deprivation can also cause people to feel less alert and experience confused thinking and mood swings.

Dr. Badr, professor and chief of the WSU School of Medicine’s Division of Pulmonary, Critical Care and Sleep Medicine, hopes the recommendation will help people realize the importance of sleep to their health.

"Sleep well to live well. This is not a matter of opinion. There is strong science behind it," he said.

The Consensus Panel did not place an upper limit on recommended sleep duration, agreeing that sleeping more than nine hours per night on a regular basis may be appropriate for young adults, individuals recovering from sleep debt and those with illnesses.

The benefits of healthy sleep require not only adequate sleep duration, but also appropriate timing, daily regularity, good sleep quality and the absence of sleep disorders. Individuals who have or suspect they have sleep disorders should consult with a doctor. Call 313-745-4525 to make an appointment with Dr. Badr.

Established in 1975, the American Academy of Sleep Medicine improves sleep health and promotes high quality patient centered care through advocacy, education, strategic research and practice standards. With nearly 10,000 members, the AASM is the largest professional membership society for physicians, scientists and other health care providers dedicated to sleep medicine. For more information, visit www.aasmnet.org.

The Sleep Research Society is the leading professional association for sleep and circadian scientists. The SRS fosters scientific investigation, professional education, career development and evidence-based health policy in sleep science and sleep disorders research. For more information, visit www.sleepresearchsociety.org.

The project was funded by the AASM and SRS, and by the National Healthy Sleep Awareness Project, a partnership between the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, AASM and SRS.



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