Sleeping less than 5 hours a night increases chronic disease risk, study shows


LONDON – Are you over 50 and sleeping five hours or less a night? A study published this week warns that this could cause problems for your long-term health.

Researchers in Europe have found that sleeping less than or equal to 5 hours per night may put individuals at a higher risk of developing several chronic diseases, such as heart disease, depression, cancer or diabetes.

The peer-reviewed study, which surveyed nearly 8,000 UK civil servants in their 50s, 60s and 70s over an average of 25 years, found that “shorter sleep duration is associated with the onset of chronic and multi-morbid conditions”, which is a combination of Two or more chronic diseases.

The study was published Tuesday in the journal PLOS Medicine by a research team from UCL and Paris Metropolitan University.

People who slept 5 hours or less were 30 percent more likely to be diagnosed with multiple chronic diseases at age 50 than their peers who slept 7 hours, study finds, lead author, Epidemiology and Public Health researcher Severine Sabia told us. Washington post.

At age 60, those who slept 5 hours or less had a 32% higher risk compared with those who slept 7 hours, and at age 70, the risk was 40% higher, she added.

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“As people age, their sleep habits and sleep structure change. However, seven to eight hours of sleep per night is recommended,” Sabia said in a separate statement.

“More than half of older adults now suffer from at least two chronic diseases. This is proving to be a major challenge for public health, as multiple diseases are associated with high health care use, hospitalization and disability,” she said.

The study acknowledges that it has some limitations. It relied on self-reported sleep data, the participants were all civil servants, mainly in London, and only “a small subset of non-white participants”, it added.

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Regardless of your age, job, or background, sleep experts agree that getting the right amount of sleep is important—conversely, worrying too much about your sleep can be counterproductive.

“There is no one-size-fits-all approach to sleep,” Neil Stanley, a sleep consultant and author of “How to Get a Good Night’s Sleep,” told The Washington Post on Wednesday. “We should find the right one for us. time.”

Good sleep is critical to physical and mental health, and sleep needs are in some way “genetically determined,” like height or shoe size, Stanley said, imploring people not to feel anxious about hitting their target hours.

Quality is also important, he added, because our brains need to enter a deep, restorative stage of sleep known as slow-wave sleep. It aids in cognitive processes such as consolidating memories, problem solving and clearing toxins that can lead to Alzheimer’s or dementia.

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Sleep needs also vary with age, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Babies under one year old need up to 16 hours of sleep per day, while teens need up to 10 hours, and adults and seniors need 7 hours or more per night.

Good sleep hygiene can promote better sleep, suggests study author Sabia. These habits can include making sure your bedroom is quiet, dark, and a comfortable temperature, removing electronics, and avoiding large meals before bed.

“Daytime physical activity and light may also promote good sleep,” she added.

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For people with insomnia and trouble falling asleep – Stanley advises against “overcomplicating” things too much. “Humans have been putting themselves to sleep for millions of years — we’ve never needed lotions, potions or self-help books to fall asleep,” he jokes.

He added that most people just need a quiet room and a “quiet mind” to get a good night’s sleep. “Put your concerns and worries on the bed before you start.”

Russell Foster, a professor of circadian neuroscience and author, agrees that sleep is “extremely important” and urges those worried about the number of hours they gain to accept that there are “individual differences” in sleep habits and duration. He told The Washington Post that the acid test is actually what we do when we’re awake.

If we’re able to function, problem-solve and self-reflect, then we’re likely to get enough sleep, Foster said. If you need to set multiple alarms, feel tired, irritable or impulsive, crave naps or caffeine, or notice a change in behavior, they are common indicators that you’re not getting enough sleep.

He added that while there may be a “golden sleep number”, whether or not it may depend on the individual and “changes and changes with age”.

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