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Global Observatory for healthy Sleep / The importance of sleep / Sleep and health

Maintaining a healthy diet, taking physical exercise, avoiding the consumption of toxic substances and enjoying emotional well-being are acknowledged key factors for having a healthy lifestyle.

The Global Sleep Observatory also wishes to stress the importance of healthy sleep as a further essential factor for ensuring a good quality of life.


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A number of studies have established a clear relationship between sleep duration and poorer quality of life. Conversely, a relationship has also been observed between sleep duration (principally sleeping little, or poor sleep quality) and the following medical conditions:

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  • Vascular diseases (cardiac and cerebral)
  • Arterial hypertension
  • Coronary diseases
  • Cerebral vascular diseases
  • Metabolism and obesity
  • Immune system disorders
  • Cancer
  • Psychiatric disorders and cognitive impairment
  • Mortality

Sleep disorders can also interfere with our daily activities, as well as with our social relations and with our moods. Not sleeping properly can diminish our productivity and even lead to workplace and traffic accidents. In the case of children, it can result in academic failure and behavioural disorders.


A number of publications have established that the "sleep duration-illness-mortality" association could present a U-shaped relationship, wherein sleeping both too little and too much can give rise to health problems.


Thus, based on these data, and without a full consensus having been reached among the scientific community, the band of 7-8 hours of sleep would be considered the sleep duration recommended for adults.



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