Getting less than five hours of sleep in mid-to-late life could be linked to an increased risk of developing at least two chronic diseases, finds a new study led by UCL researchers. The research, published in PLOS Medicine, analysed the impact of sleep duration on the health of more than 7,000 men and women at the ages of 50, 60 and 70.

Researchers examined the relationship between how long each participant slept for, mortality and whether they had been diagnosed with two or more chronic diseases (which is referred to as multi-morbidity), such as heart disease, cancer or diabetes — over the course of 25 years.

People who reported getting five hours of sleep or less at age 50 were 20% more likely to have been diagnosed with a chronic disease and 40% more likely to be diagnosed with two or more chronic diseases over 25 years, compared to people who slept for up to seven hours.

Sleep is foundational for good health, it is the foundation that everything else is built on. I work with clients to improve their sleep otherwise it can be really hard to get results from other lifestyle changes. Lack of sleep itself just for a few days can be enough to cause insulin resistance, which is what will predispose you to gaining weight and many chronic diseases included diabetes and heart disease.

In November 2022, I chatted to Stephen Cenatiempo 2CC Talking Canberra about chronic disease being linked to lack of sleep. You can listen here:

 References:

 https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2022/10/221018220538.htm

 https://journals.plos.org/plosmedicine/article?id=10.1371/journal.pmed.1004109

 

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