This Time article called How Much Sleep Do You Really Need? relates to that theme - it turns out 8 hours per night might not be so good after all. Daniel Kripke of the Scripps Clinic Sleep Center in California, says:
Studies show that people who sleep between 6.5 hours and 7.5 hours a night, as they report, live the longest. And people who sleep 8 hours or more, or less than 6.5 hours, they don't live quite as long. There is just as much risk associated with sleeping too long as with sleeping too short ... One of the reasons I like to publicize these facts is that I think we can prevent a lot of insomnia and distress just by telling people that short sleep is OK. We've all been told you ought to sleep eight hours, but there was never any evidence.As Scott Adams points out:
Add the "eight hours of sleep" myth to the eight 8-ounce glasses of water you were supposed to drink per day, the food you weren't supposed to eat before swimming, and the huge amounts of bread you were supposed to eat for a healthy diet.
Seriously, is there ANYTHING I learned when I was a kid that is true?