Saturday, August 23, 2008

Not-so-Goldilocks and the three nights sleep

Not-so-Goldilocks worked late after a long day, so she finally went upstairs. She lay down in the first bedroom recently vacated by her son who had left the previous day for college, but the bed was too hard. She was only able to sleep for 5 1/2 hours, and she felt like hell in the morning(1).

The next night, Not-so-Goldilocks was so tired she headed up to bed at 9 p.m. She lay in the second bedroom that still had her daughter's stuffed animals arranged on a flower spread, but the bed was too soft. She slept like the dead, unmoving, for 9 1/2 hours, and woke up with her head foggy and her back screaming(2).

On the third night, she dragged her sorry self all the way to the end of the upstairs hall to her own bedroom at her usual bedtime of 11 p.m. Then she flopped down on her pillow-top Sealy mattress, and it was just right. Not-so-Goldilocks fell asleep and awoke refreshed at 6 a.m., her mind clear and her eyes unpuffy. She bounded downstairs for breakfast and coffee, ready to wrestle the world to the ground.
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(1) Researchers at the University of North Carolina's School of Public Health in Chapel Hill found that women who slept six hours or less were at 14 percent greater stroke risk than those who slept seven hours a night.
(2) This same study found that compared to postmenopausal women who slept seven hours, those who dozed nine hours or more had a 60-70 percent higher risk of ischemic stroke.
(3) The Chapel Hill investigators agreed; seven hours of sleep is just right!

8 comments:

kenju said...

That's what I shoot for.

Wendy said...

Interesting - I hope it's not true. I like 8 hours or more. Mind you, my sleep is interrupted.... oh the joys of menopausal insomnia!

Reality Man said...

I have read some similar things, but have problems with this kind of study. One is the self-reporting aspect: are the subjects reporting their sleep accurately? In what category is someone who lies down for 10 hours and manages to sleep for seven? And what is the causal link? Or could too little or too much sleep and stroke be linked to something else? In which case, changing to the magic number might simply put one in the ranks of those who slept seven and had a stroke anyway.

Mauigirl said...

What about if your average is 7? I get 6-1/2 on weeknights but moer like 8 weekends! Probably the worst of both worlds...

Bear Naked said...

Oh my I am finally doing something right in my life.

This makes me feel a lot better.

I thought my seven hours was all wrong.

Bear((( )))

JeanMac said...

I'd pay for 6 hours:)

annie's eyes said...

The magic 7--the # of complete. I vary so, but probably get about 7 most nights. I agree too much or too little is just as bad. I love routines to make me sleepy. But 4 a.m. is often my friend!

Cilicious said...

I used to think 7 wasn't enough, but that's what I usually end up with.