The short sleep durations of many young adults do not reflect a need for less sleep, resulting instead in significant sleep debts, according to a study of 17 volunteers between 18 and 32 years of age.
Results of the study are published in the October 1 issue of the journal Sleep.
On the first day of extended 12-hour nocturnal and 4-hour midday sleep opportunities, the total sleep time for volunteers increased by an average of 4.9 hours.
Participants with shorter habitual sleep durations fell asleep more quickly and more often during testing than those with longer habitual durations.
“These results have wide-ranging implications because of the documented adverse effects of sleep restriction,” the authors write.
Sleep is the official journal of the Associated Professional Sleep Societies, LLC, a joint venture of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine and the Sleep Research Society.