Sleep SWEET SPOT between 6-10 hours, ATS says

When it comes to sleep a person should get more than six hours, but no more than ten, according to new standards released by the American Thoracic Society, which regularly doles out updates to how physicians and patients handle sleep disorders. Among the recommendations was a significant overhaul to what they said equated to outdated theories about when things should happen, like school for adolescents.

For years, teens have been at the center of debate around when school for this crucial group should take place. While some contend that it should be taking place throughout the traditional times, since many students at this level start earlier than younger students – the ATS argues that a change should be made to reflect what would actually be better for the students.

The ATS found that the sweet spot for optimal sleep duration would be around 7-9 hours. Whether we’re talking about teens, adults, or seniors – the end result is the same in most instances. For those who don’t get enough sleep, there are adverse health effects, whereas those who get too much sleep, similarly negative health impacts can be felt.


Most notably, the team pointed out that, “sleep needed by an individual varies significantly with age across the lifespan.” Depending on the age, health specifications, and general lifestyle specifics – it is hard to paint with a broad brush across multiple lifestyle spectrum’s. Some things remain consistent, but others remain in question.

However, the ATS pointed out as one of their recommendations that, “We recommend better education/awareness for the general public and physicians regarding the importance of early identification of high-risk obstructive sleep apnea groups (in children and adults) due to the profound public health implications of untreated obstructive sleep apnea.”

The team also pointed out that better public awareness through programs and such would have a significant impact on the overall well-being of those in this country. They pointed to the number of motor vehicle accidents that occur on a regular basis due to “drowsiness,” and that ultimately, it would serve the entire body of humans on the road to correct this issue.

Another troublesome point that the team found was that, “Many individuals with sleep disorders, which are common, remain undiagnosed and untreated, causing significant problems, yet being treatable.” This is an area where many believe that significant ground can be made up. It shouldn’t just be about addressing the issues that exist now, but preventing and detecting future issues better.

Sutapa Mukherjee, who chaired the committee that came up with the statement, which was released today pointed out that, “Sleep plays a vital role in human health, yet there is a lack of sufficient guidance on promoting good sleep health.” Mukherjee went on to point out that, “In this statement, with an eye towards improving public health, we address the importance of good quality sleep with a focus on sleep health in adults and children; the effects of work schedules on sleep; the impact of drowsy driving; and the diagnosis and treatment of obstructive sleep apnea and insomnia.”