Quality of sleep could impact life expectancy, study finds

Did you wake up this morning feeling rested? Did you sleep through the night?

According to a new study from the American College of Cardiology, these factors, along with others, could have an impact on your life expectancy.

The study suggests that consistently getting proper sleep significantly reduces your chance of dying of things like cardiovascular disease or cancer. Further, it is suggested that eight per cent of all deaths from any cause could be attributed to poor sleep patterns.

Over 170,000 people participated in the five-year study between 2013 and 2018.

Researchers looked at five factors from people, giving a “point” for each one met. The factors included: getting the ideal seven to eight hours of sleep; when you fall asleep; if you easily fall asleep and stay asleep; whether or not sleep medications are used; and if you feel rested when you wake up.

Those who scored a perfect five in those criteria, the research found, saw higher life expectancy.

Men who earned that score are estimated to live 4.7 years longer, while women could live an additional 2.4 years, compared to people who score zero.

“Even from a young age, if people can develop these good sleep habits of getting enough sleep, making sure they are sleeping without too many distractions and have good sleep hygiene overall, it can greatly benefit their overall, long-term health,” said lead researcher, Dr. Frank Qian.

“It’s important for younger people to understand that a lot of health behaviours are cumulative over time. Just like we like to say, ‘it’s never too late to exercise or stop smoking,’ it’s also never too early. And we should be talking about and assessing sleep more often.”

The report suggests that more thorough questions should be asked by physicians about patients’ sleep so that it becomes part of people’s overall health assessment.

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