Getting good sleep could help you live longer, study finds

Credit: Andisheh A/Unsplash.

In a study from Beth Israel Deaconess, scientists found getting good sleep can play a role in supporting your heart and overall health—and maybe even how long you live.

They found that young people who have more beneficial sleep habits are incrementally less likely to die early.

Moreover, they found that about 8% of deaths from any cause could be attributed to poor sleep patterns.

In the study, the team used data from 172,321 people (average age 50 and 54% women) who participated in the National Health Interview Survey between 2013 and 2018.

This survey is fielded each year by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the National Center for Health Statistics to help gauge the health of the U.S. population and includes questions about sleep and sleep habits.

Participants were followed for about 4 years, during which time 8,681 people died.

Of these deaths, 2,610 deaths (30%) were from heart disease, 2,052 (24%) were from cancer and 4,019 (46%) were due to other causes.

The team assessed five different factors of quality sleep:

1) ideal sleep duration of seven to eight hours a night; 2) difficulty falling asleep no more than two times a week;

3) trouble staying asleep no more than two times a week; 4) not using any sleep medication; and 5) feeling well-rested after waking up at least five days a week.

The team found that compared to people who had zero to one favorable sleep factor, those who had all five were 30% less likely to die for any reason, 21% less likely to die from heart disease, 19% less likely to die from cancer, and 40% less likely to die of causes other than heart disease or cancer.

The team says these other deaths are likely due to accidents, infections or neurodegenerative diseases, such as dementia and Parkinson’s disease, but more research is needed.

Among men and women who reported having all five quality sleep measures (a score of five), life expectancy was 4.7 years greater for men and 2.4 years greater for women.

More research is needed to determine why men with all five low-risk sleep factors had double the increase in life expectancy compared with women who had the same quality of sleep.

If you care about sleep, please read studies about exercise that can help you sleep better, and this new drug could reduce symptoms of sleep apnea.

For more information about wellness, please see recent studies about drug that can treat sleep loss and insomnia, and results showing early time-restricted eating could help lose weight.

The study was conducted by Frank Qian et al and presented at the American College of Cardiology’s Annual Scientific Session Together With the World Congress of Cardiology.

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