How much sleep does our brain require to function effectively over time? A recent study published in the journal Nature, offers an explanation.
In a group of approximately 500,000 adults from the UK BioBank, the researchers discovered that both insufficient and excessive sleep contributed to decreased cognitive function.
The main finding was that seven hours of sleep per night was ideal, with less or more providing fewer cognitive and mental health benefits.
Indeed, the research shows that persons who slept that much did better on cognitive tasks (such as processing speed, visual attention, and memory) than those who slept less or more.
Individuals also require seven hours of sleep on a continuous basis, with little variation in duration.
However, we all react to lack of sleep in slightly different ways. The study shows that genetics and brain shape controlled the link between sleep duration, cognition, and mental health.
The hippocampus, which is recognized for its function in learning and memory, and portions of the frontal cortex, which are engaged in top-down control of emotion, were shown to be the brain regions most affected by sleep deprivation.
Read more on Nature’s website