A study in the September issue of SLEEP found that the risk of an extended absence from work due to sickness rose sharply among those who reported sleeping less than 6 hours or more than 9 hours per night. Further analysis found that the optimal sleep duration with the lowest risk of sickness absence from work was between 7 and 8 hours per night. Sickness absence is a major economic endpoint, and the impact of poor sleep on sickness absence needs to be a subject of future sleep research, notes a commentary on the study.

The results underscore the importance of the “Sleep Well, Be Well” campaign of the National Healthy Sleep Awareness Project. The AASM, CDC and other project partners are increasing awareness of the importance of sleep as one of the three pillars of a healthy lifestyle.

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