Lack of sleep leads to multiple diseases in older age – study

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 Lack of sleep leads to multiple diseases in older age - study

Studies show that people over 50 who sleep less than five hours a night may have an increased risk of developing at least two chronic diseases.

The data provided by the scientists show that compared to those who slept at least seven hours a night, people who sleep five hours or less were 30% more likely to develop cancer, diabetes or cardiovascular disease in the next 25 years.

Based on findings published in the journal Plos Medicine, the scientists who conducted the study recommend seven to eight hours of sleep each night.

Dr Severin Sabia, of the Institute of Epidemiology and Health, University College London and Inserm, Universite Paris Cite, who is also the study's lead author, said: “Multimorbidity (two or more chronic conditions) is now found in more than half of older adults. This is proving to be a major public health issue, as multimorbidity is associated with high utilization of healthcare services, hospitalization and disability.”

“As people get older, their sleep patterns and habits change. However, it is recommended to sleep between seven and eight hours per night, as sleep duration above or below this is associated with certain chronic diseases. Our results show that short sleep duration is also associated with multimorbidity,” he added.

The study looked at sleep data from almost 8,000 adults aged 50, 60 and 70.

The team found that at age 50, those who slept five hours or less had a 30% higher risk of multimorbidity over 25 years of follow-up than those who slept seven hours.
< br />At age 60, those who slept five hours or less had a 32% higher risk, and at age 70 — 40% higher than those who slept seven hours a night.

Researchers also found that five hours of sleep or less at age 50 was associated with a 25 percent increased risk of mortality.

This may be because short sleep duration increases the risk of chronic disease, which in turn increases the risk of death, scientists say.

Dr. Sabia said: ” ;To ensure a better night's sleep, it is important to practice good sleep hygiene, such as making sure the bedroom is quiet, dark, and at a comfortable temperature before bed. It is also recommended to put away electronic devices and avoid large meals before bed. Physical activity and exposure to sunlight during the day can also help promote good sleep.

The study was funded by the National Institute on Aging, the UK Medical Research Council and the British Heart Foundation.

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