Sleeping: Too much, too little, you're screwed

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Where were all these studies when I was in high school?

A sure sign that I was born a generation too early: High school should start at 11 am, says scientist

According to a white-coated researcher, "...the body's internal circadian clock shifts tends to drift more in this age group than in others, with the signal to fall asleep occurring slightly later each day. Dr. Russell Foster, an Oxford professor of neuroscience ... demonstrated an improvement in the students' memory when they were tested at 2 PM as compared to at 9 AM."

I like the sound of this. I don't care if it's verified by additional research, it just sounds good. Now, if only they could extend these findings to include people who go to work, then life would be nice.

Yes, I know, I'm not holding my breath for that study. I always figured that at least if I ever retire I'd be able to sleep in. I mean, maybe we can't rely on social security or 401k stuff in old age, but there's always the prospect of being able to turn off the alarm and going back to bed.

Or is there???

A study in the European Journal of Neurology claims that Sleeping in can be an early sign of dementia.

"Experts at the University Hospital of Madrid in Spain studied 3,286 men and women aged 65 or over. Each one was questioned on their health and lifestyle, including how many hours sleep they had on average over a 24-hour period, including afternoon naps. The volunteers were then tracked for more than three years, during which time 140 went on to develop Alzheimer's disease or another form of dementia.
The results showed the biggest increase in risk was among those averaging more than eight or nine hours a day, either by lying in the mornings or napping in the afternoon. In a report on their findings the researchers said: "We found a significant association between long sleep duration and dementia."
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The only way I can reconcile these two findings is the conclusion that one of the following two theories are true:

  • It's okay to sleep in when you're a teenager, but once you're an "old person" you have to get up early, damn it.

  • --OR--
  • Just make sure you stay up late at night reading blogs, regardless of whether you're old or a young'un. That way, even if you sleep in until 11 AM, you won't have gotten too much sleep. So you'll be okay.

What -- you got a better idea? Bring it on!

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