While plenty of research has supported the ballpark range of 7 to 9 hours of sleep as ideal, a new study pinpoints the exact minimum we should clock for optimal health. After dividing 9700 participants of varying demographics and health profiles into groups according to their nightly sleep times—less than 6 hours, 6 to 7.9 hours, and 8-plus hours—scientists found that those in the 8-plus group were 2.7 times likelier to have ideal heart health.
The scientists also reiterated the fact that those who get about 8 hours of sleep tend to have lower BMIs than those who get 6 or less, which previous research had similarly shown. But what sets this study apart is that while scientists previously believed that anywhere in the 7- to 8-hour range was exemplary, it looks as though a full 8 hours really is the sweet spot.
That being said, without proper sleep quality, quantity is kind of irrelevant. Be sure to shut off all your devices about an hour before bed, and might we suggest this lavender-scented sleep mask ($13)? Not only will the naturally calming fragrance lull you to dreamland in no time, but it's also specifically weighted to hit acupressure points, relieving stress and anxiety.
How many hours of sleep do you try to clock each night? Want help falling asleep? Check out our guide to falling fast asleep in under one minute.