Longer Sleep Has Positive Advantages

Published Online: Wednesday, December 1, 2004

Researchers at Stanford University focused their latest study on the potential benefits of "sleep extension." The study involved 15 healthy college students who were required to sleep as much as possible over an extended period of time. As the participants got more sleep, measurements of reaction time, mood, and daytime alertness improved dramatically. Of the participants, 7 completed the study with scores of 20 on the Multiple Sleep Latency Test. The test indicates maximum alertness and total sleep satiation, according to results reported in Sleep Medicine (September 2004).

Specifically, sleep duration increased from a baseline or prestudy average of 7.01 hours (measured by actigraphy and 7.45 hours by self-reported journal entries) to as much as 9.37 hours (9.88 hours by journals) in the first days of extended sleep, and with "satiation," averaging 8.15 hours (8.77 hours by journals).

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