I know people who giddily pounce on any new research showing that booze or chocolate is actually good for your health. And now for my friends who burn the midnight oil surfing the Web or frittering away time on their cellphones at the expense of sleep, I have good news for you.
Yes, you've shunned research out of places like Brigham & Women's Hospital on late night e-reader use mucking up your circadian rhythms and RPI warning that even limited exposure to devices with back-lit screens can deprive you of rest.
But new research from a UCLA-led team published in Current Biology found that today's sleeping patterns might not be all that different from traditional peoples, including the Hadza of Tanzania, the San of Namibia and the Tsimane of Bolivia. They're getting closer to 6.5 hours a sleep rather than the much-advocated-for 8 hours.
“The argument has always been that modern life has reduced our sleep time below the amount our ancestors got, but our data indicates that this is a myth,” said Jerome Siegel, leader of the research team and professor of psychiatry at UCLA’s Semel Institute of Neuroscience and Human Behavior, in a statement.
Though that's not to say quality sleep isn't healthy. The research does find there are some sleep/health benefits to exposure to morning light, keeping a cool bedroom and waking up at a consistent time.
Here's a link to the new UCLA-led research if you want to take a deeper dive.