Sleeping 5 Hours or Less a Night Risks Health Problems as You Age.
According to a new study, people aged 50 and older who sleep five hours or less per night have an increased chance of getting various chronic diseases compared to their counterparts who receive a longer night’s sleep.
The study, published on Tuesday in the journal PLOS Medicine, examined roughly 8,000 British civil servants who did not have a chronic disease at age 50.
During clinic exams every four to five years for the next 25 years, scientists asked participants to report how much sleep they had received.
People who slept five hours or less per night at age 50 had a 30% increased risk of developing various chronic diseases compared to those who slept at least seven hours per night.
At age 60, the risk climbed by 32%, and at age 70, the risk increased by 40%.
Diabetes, cancer, coronary heart disease, stroke, heart failure, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, chronic kidney disease, liver disease, depression, dementia, mental disorders, Parkinson’s, and arthritis were at higher risk.
According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, people who do not get enough sleep – around seven to nine hours a night – have an enormous risk of chronic diseases, including obesity and high blood pressure.
The new study did not discover that those who slept longer than nine hours had health difficulties, unlike previous research; nevertheless, the small sample size may have skewed the findings.
There are further limitations to the study.
Only approximately a third of the subjects were female; most were white men. According to the survey, civil servants tend to be slightly healthier than the overall population.
The study was based on self-reported data, which is less reliable than if the participants had participated in a sleep study where scientists watched them sleep.
“Short sleep duration in midlife and old age is linked to an increased risk of chronic diseases and multiple diseases,” the study said.
These results back up the idea that people should practice good sleep hygiene for primary and secondary prevention, focusing on behavioral and environmental factors affecting how long and well people sleep.
Sharon Cobb has done sleep research, but she wasn’t a part of the new study.
She thought it was important because it proved that sleep and chronic illnesses are linked.
“I believe we’ve emphasized the need for sleep for a long time. But now, we are beginning to make significant progress. There is growing evidence that sleep affects more than just mental health.
Cobb is in charge of programs that prepare people to become nurses and is an associate professor at the Mervyn M.
Dymally School of Nursing at Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science in Los Angeles, says that it also affects an increasing number of comorbidities.
Cobb says that sleep time is essential, but sleep quality is also important. However, this study did not measure sleep quality.
In addition, the study did not explain what may be causing chronic problems among those who slept five hours or less or fewer.
Adam Knowlden, an associate professor of health science at the University of Alabama who was not involved in the new study but is doing a different large sleep study, says that previous research has shown that sleep is a restorative process that, among other things, makes and controls hormones in the body.
Hormones control appetite, metabolism, sexual desire, blood pressure, heart rate, body temperature, and circadian rhythms.
If the body doesn’t make enough hormones, lack of sleep can lead to long-term health problems like fatigue, body aches, and high blood pressure.
According to studies, sleep deprivation can also increase inflammation, the body’s natural response to illness or damage. Chronic inflammation can lead to many diseases, whereas temporary inflammation protects the body well.
“Sleep is always one of the most important factors for people’s health,” stated Knowlden.
“Sleep is always one of the biggest pieces of the equation for people to be healthy,” Knowlden said.
“Often, people see the need to sleep as an inconvenience. They think to get the most out of life, they need to deprive themselves of sleep to get ahead or to be more social, but it’s the other way around,” he said. “Most research shows your quality of life improves if you get sufficient sleep.”
First, adhere to a regular sleep routine. Training your body to go to bed and wake up simultaneously every day makes it easier to have a restful night’s sleep.
The bedroom should be dark, quiet, and devoid of pets that could disrupt sleep.
Before bed, avoid coffee, alcohol, and large meals. Daytime exercise can also lead to improved sleep at night.
Knowlden stated, “The more we can urge individuals to get a better night’s sleep, the better.” Sleep influences everything.