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Aged around 50 might develop chronic diseases if slept 5 hrs or less

Aged around 50 might develop chronic diseases if slept 5 hrs or less

London: UK-based researchers found that mid-to-late life individuals sleeping below five hours might develop at least two chronic diseases, PTI reported.

People aged 50 who sleep five hours of sleep or less are at 20 per cent more risk of getting diagnosed with a chronic disease, the study by a team from the University College London (UCL) in the UK inferred.

They were also 40 per cent more likely to be diagnosed with two or more chronic diseases over a follow-up period of 25 years compared to those who slept for up to seven hours.

The study has been published in the journal PLOS Medicine.

Lead author of the study, Severine Sabia, said, "Multimorbidity is on the rise in high-income countries, and more than half of older adults now have at least two chronic diseases. This is proving to be a major challenge for public health, as Multimorbidity is associated with high healthcare service use, hospitalisations and disability."

The research also inferred that a sleep duration of five hours or less at age 50 was associated with a 25 per cent increased risk of mortality over the follow-up period. The finding clarified that short sleep duration increases the risk of chronic diseases that, in turn, increase the risk of death, researchers asserted.

"As people get older, their sleep habits and sleep structure change. However, it is recommended to sleep for 7 to 8 hours a night - as sleep durations above or below this have previously been associated with individual chronic diseases," Sabia said.

The researchers examined the relationship between how long each participant slept, mortality and whether they were multimorbid - such as with heart disease, cancer or diabetes - over the course of 25 years.

The study 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 from the Whitehall II cohort study, which was conducted from 1985 to 1988 and examined the health of 10,308 civil servants aged 35 to 55, of whom two-thirds were men and one-third women.

"Our findings show that short sleep duration is also associated with Multimorbidity. To ensure a better night's sleep, it is important to promote good sleep hygiene, such as making sure the bedroom is quiet, dark, and a comfortable temperature before sleeping."

"It is also advised to remove electronic devices and avoid large meals before bedtime. Physical activity and exposure to light during the day might also promote good sleep," said Sabia.

As part of the study, researchers also assessed whether sleeping for a long duration, of nine hours or more, affected health outcomes. There was no clear association between long sleep durations at age 50 and Multimorbidity in healthy people.

However, if a participant had already been diagnosed with a chronic condition, then long sleep duration was associated with around a 35 per cent increased risk of developing another illness.

Researchers believe this could be due to underlying health conditions impacting sleep.

The researchers noted that because the data used for the study was self-reported by the participants, it was likely to be subject to reporting bias, even though the findings were confirmed through electronic measurements of the sleep of 4,000 participants.

For the study, only members employed in civil service were subjected. They were more likely to be healthier than the general population, the scientists said.

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TAGS:Healthsleepmiddle age
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