DARIEN, IL – In a new recommendation published in the June issue of SLEEP, the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM) and Sleep Research Society (SRS) recommend that adults obtain seven or more hours of sleep per night to avoid the health risks of chronic inadequate sleep. In addition, the AASM and SRS do not place an upper limit on the number of hours of sleep recommended per night.

The recommendation follows a 12-month project conducted by a Consensus Panel of 15 of the nation’s foremost sleep experts.

“Sleep is critical to health, along with a healthy diet and regular exercise,” said Dr. Nathaniel F. Watson, incoming AASM president and Consensus Panel moderator. “Our Consensus Panel found that sleeping six or fewer hours per night is inadequate to sustain health and safety in adults, and agreed that seven or more hours of sleep per night is recommended for all healthy adults.”

The Consensus Panel did not place an upper limit on recommended sleep duration, agreeing that sleeping more than nine hours per night on a regular basis may be appropriate for young adults, individuals recovering from sleep debt, and individuals with illnesses.

“More than a third of the population is not getting enough sleep, so the focus needs to be on achieving the recommended minimum hours of nightly sleep,” said Watson. “Long sleep duration is more likely to reflect chronic illness than to cause it, and few experimental laboratory studies have examined the health effects of long sleep duration.”

The benefits of healthy sleep require not only adequate sleep duration, but also appropriate timing, daily regularity, good sleep quality, and the absence of sleep disorders. Individuals who have or suspect they have sleep disorders should consult with a doctor. To find a local sleep specialist at an accredited sleep center, visit www.sleepeducation.org.

The panel of 15 experts in sleep medicine and research used a modified RAND Appropriateness Method to develop a recommendation regarding the sleep duration, or sleep duration range, that promotes optimal health in adults aged 18 to 60 years.

Funding for this project was provided by the AASM and SRS, and by the National Healthy Sleep Awareness Project, a partnership between the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, AASM and SRS.

Consensus Statement: Recommended Amount of Sleep for a Healthy Adult: A Joint Consensus Statement of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine and Sleep Research Society

About The American Academy of Sleep Medicine
Established in 1975, the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM) improves sleep health and promotes high quality patient centered care through advocacy, education, strategic research, and practice standards. With nearly 10,000 members, the AASM is the largest professional membership society for physicians, scientists and other health care providers dedicated to sleep medicine.

About Sleep Research Society
The Sleep Research Society (SRS) is the leading professional association for sleep and circadian scientists. The SRS fosters scientific investigation, professional education, career development and evidence-based health policy in sleep science and sleep disorders research. For more information, visit www.sleepresearchsociety.org.