We all know what it's like to run on too little sleep. Whether you've pulled an all-nighter, you're struggling with insomnia, or you just discovered you're too old for late concerts anymore, the day after can feel like moving through molasses, with a headache to boot. One new sleep study has plenty to say about the detrimental effects of sleep deprivation, but it revealed some surprising facts about getting too much shut-eye as well.
Researchers at Canada's Western University launched the world's largest sleep study in June 2017, and in short order got more than 40,000 responses. While most reported feeling their best with between seven and eight hours of sleep each night, about half of respondents said they were sleeping less than 6.3 hours per night. Those trying to make it through the day with four or fewer hours of sleep effectively added nine years to their age, in terms of how well they performed on tasks.
Oddly, individuals who slept far more than eight hours a night were about as cognitively impaired the next day as people who didn't get enough sleep. If this becomes a habit for either group, the effects start to stack up, especially when it comes to reasoning skills and your ability to communicate verbally. That said, there is one good revelation confirmed: A good night's sleep goes a long way toward fixing whatever deficit you've built up.