Sleep at Least 7 Hours Every Night

Recommendation to Optimize Health and Extend Lifespan
Free tutorial
Rating: 4.2 out of 5 (11 ratings)
460 students
35min of on-demand video
English [Auto]

How to Optimize Sleep


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Did you know that sleeping for at least 7 hours every night reduces risk of premature death by up to 12%? Getting the recommended amount of sleep for optimal health means:

  1. sleeping all 7 hour at night, rather than sleeping a few hours in the day with a nap and a few hours at night

  2. getting 7 hours each and every night, rather than under-sleeping during the wake and trying to catch up on the weekends

  3. not using medication to help you sleep

Insufficient sleep causes numerous health problems besides shortening your life.  Not getting at least 7 hours of sleep every night increases risk of:

  • obesity via changes in leptin and ghrelin that increase appetite, and reduce energy expenditure

  • high blood pressure and diabetes due to the chronic stress that results from sleep deprivation and the subsequent fight or fight stress response that increases cortisol levels

  • cancer due to chronic inflammation that results in errors in DNA replication repair

  • heart attack and stroke resulting from chronic inflammation which causes atherosclerosis

Despite the proven health benefits of getting sufficient sleep:

  • 1 in 3 adults in the U.S. averages less than 7 hours of sleep each night.

But sleeping 7 hours every night sounds like a lot to ask. Americans have gotten less and less sleep over the past century, and the pace of sleep loss has gotten even more drastic with the advent of smart phones.

Is there a way to get a good night's rest in our hyperconnected, always-on, lives?

There most certainly is! in this course, Dr. Cohen, a primary care doctor in San Francisco, shares with you effective strategies for getting a good's night's rest, specifically sleeping at least 7 hour every night, with a consistent bedtime.

The course begins with an introduction to Sleep & Activity.  Dr. Cohen explains the various causes of sleep disturbances.  He'll share with you the medical research that shows the benefits of keeping getting sufficient sleep. He'll describe the harm caused by insufficient sleep and the health promoting effects of adequate sleep. He'll describe proven tips to get a good night's rest that have worked for him, and thousands of his patients. You'll learn about choice architecture for avoiding bad choices.  Finally, you'll hear the answers to frequently asked questions, followed by a summary of the information presented. 

Who this course is for:

  • Anyone who wants to optimize their health and extend life span


Primary Care Physician
Nicholas Cohen, MD
  • 4.4 Instructor Rating
  • 235 Reviews
  • 5,694 Students
  • 37 Courses

Nicholas Cohen has been a primary care physician for over 11 years.  He received his medical degree from New York University School of Medicine, and completed residency and fellowship at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine. He is currently affiliated with University of California San Francisco seeing patients at a primary care clinic in downtown San Francisco.

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