People who sleep well live longer: the most important conditions at a glance

“People who follow an ideal sleep pattern are more likely to live longer,” concludes American scientist Frank Keanu of Harvard Medical School. He is a co-author of the US study, including Preliminary results Published by the American College of Cardiology. among other things CNN write about it.

Men can extend their lives by 4.7 years and women by 2.4 years.

The five most important conditions

Regularity is more important than a long sleep for a perfect night’s sleep. Researchers have identified five factors that produce total comfort:

  • Sleep seven to eight hours each night.
  • She sleeps easily at least five nights a week.
  • Rarely waking up during the night.
  • Feeling rested after waking up at least five times a week.
  • Do not use sleep medications.

“It’s very helpful that there’s been thorough research, but I’m not very surprised by the results,” says Marieke Lancel, a professor with special attendance at the University of Groningen who specializes in sleep disorders. “I find that 2.4 years for women is less than I would have expected.”

It’s been known for a long time that sleep is very important to “all kinds of processes in the body and the brain,” says Lancel. “You spend a third of your life sleeping. It’s for good reason.”

Cardiovascular disease and diabetes

The somnologist explains that during sleep, among other things, the immune system is restored. “In your deep sleep, the body cleanses the brain and removes waste. Those who sleep poorly have a higher risk of cardiovascular disease and diabetes. You are also more susceptible to infectious diseases.”

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American researchers also came to the same conclusion. The study showed that people who meet all five conditions for a good, regular night’s sleep are 21 percent less likely to die from cardiovascular disease, compared to people who do not meet any or any of these conditions. People who sleep well are also 19 percent less likely to succumb to cancer and up to 40 percent less likely to die from “other causes.”

As chronobiologist Marijki Jordijn previously told RTL News that lack of sleep increases the risk of cardiovascular disease and obesity: “People with chronic fatigue produce more hunger hormones, and less satiety hormones. Unhealthy choices This, in turn, promotes poor sleep and poor concentration.”

A good night’s sleep is also important for daily functioning, says the professor at a private appointment for Lancel. “The discomfort is detrimental to your cognitive abilities. You have trouble paying attention. It is detrimental to processing and storing information in your memory, problem-solving, decision-making, motivation and adherence to the things you want to change.”

steady rhythms

People who sleep poorly also become more likely to develop mental illness over time, says Lancel. “Sleep problems in a mental disorder amplify symptoms and prevent recovery.”

She says that the ability to sleep well or badly is determined in part by genetics, but we can do a lot ourselves to influence a night’s sleep. “Regularity is important. You have to improve your rhythm. Go to bed at specific times and get up at specific times. Let in plenty of light in the morning, which resets your biological clock and gives a boost.”

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Data from the National Health Survey

For the study, data was collected from more than 172,000 people. They completed surveys for the National Health Survey conducted by the US National Institute of Public Health and Care, CDC, between 2013 and 2018.

The full study on the health problems of sleep deprivation will be presented March 6 at the annual conference of the American College of Cardiology.

Before going to sleep, it is important to relax both physically and mentally. Too much light, eg from computer and phone screens, doesn’t help. It is also difficult to fall asleep after the “excitement” of a chat or an exciting TV series. “And intense exercise just before bedtime is not conducive. Then you will stay vigorous for a long time, while you have to finish the day in order to fall asleep peacefully. Walking is useful.”

alcohol and coffee

Alcohol, smoking and coffee are not recommended, especially late at night. “Alcohol may make you sleep well, but in the middle of the night your body wakes you up. Eating too late also keeps you awake.”

According to the researchers, the striking difference between men (who live 4.7 years longer) and women (2.4 years) is subject to “further research.” One possible explanation could be that women are less likely to have sleep apnea. This condition causes a person to stop breathing regularly during sleep, which in turn leads to cardiovascular disease, heart attacks, and strokes.

According to the somnologist Marek Lancel, this interpretation is not entirely unfounded. “In recent years, we’ve increasingly discovered that women show different symptoms than men when they develop sleep apnea. Much of the medical science is based on research on men.”

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