Not getting enough sleep can take real time off your life. The link between sleep deprivation and mortality has been shown in a wide body of rigorous scientific research. Sleep is essential for survival. Studies in animals have demonstrated that going without any sleep will eventually be, over a period of days or weeks, lethal.
And studies in people have established the association between short sleeping and an increased risk of death. For example, a review of research published in the journal Sleep found an average of a 12% higher risk of dying among short sleepers. Short sleepers were people sleeping less than 7 hours a night—in many studies sleeping less than 5.
(We’re talking about sleep deprivation today. But I can’t move on from mentioning this research review above without noting that it also found sleeping too much associated with higher risk of dying—a whopping 30% increase. I’ll come back to this topic of excessive sleeping again. It’s an important one. In the meantime, here’s an article I wrote about the risks of oversleeping.)
And a 12%