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Five-hour naps lead to chronic disease: scientists have outlined the risks

Yulia PoteriankoSociety
Excessive sleep is also not beneficial

The consequences of the efficiency cult that prevailed in the eighties and nineties and forced people to sacrifice many important things, such as sleep, for the sake of career success are still being investigated by scientists. A recent study, which began in the late eighties, showed that sleeping less than five hours every night provokes the development of a host of chronic diseases.

According to CTV News, the results of the study were recently published in the peer-reviewed journal PLOS Medicine. The study included more than 7000 participants aged 50, 60, and 70. As a result, the researchers found that people in the sixth decade, who regularly slept only 5 hours or less, were 40% more likely to have two or more chronic diseases over the past 25 years compared to people who slept about seven hours a night.

According to Severina Sabia of the Institute of Epidemiology and Health at University College London, who was the lead author of the study, people's sleep habits and patterns change with age. But the recommendation to sleep at least 7 hours every night is unchangedable for all age groups.

The researcher also pointed out that previous studies have already established that short and long sleep can be associated with certain chronic diseases. A new study published recently in the United States found that people who slept less than seven hours had a higher risk of developing heart disease. And poor sleep is common among Americans.

Instead, Sabia and her team decided to determine whether there was a link between less sleep and the risk of developing multiple chronic diseases. And they found that there is indeed such a pattern. In scientific terms, this is called multimorbidity - when two or more chronic diseases occur simultaneously.

"Multimorbidity is on the rise in high-income countries, and more than half of older people now have at least two chronic diseases. This is proving to be a serious public health problem, as multimorbidity is associated with high healthcare utilization, hospitalization and disability," said Sabia.

According to the study methodology, the researchers took data from previous work that included information on more than 10,000 people who worked in the London offices of the British civil service at the beginning of the data collection phase in 1985. Participants were then asked to describe their health status and how it changed with age. In particular, participants told how much sleep they got. They reported this about six times between 1985 and 2016. The researchers analyzed this data and isolated the data on sleep duration obtained from participants when they were 50, 60, and 70 years old. In total, this information was obtained from about 7,000 people.

This information was compared with information about the subjects' chronic diseases. They also took into account when they developed. The list of diseases of interest to the scientists included diabetes, cancer, coronary heart disease, stroke, heart failure, chronic kidney disease, liver disease, depression, dementia, Parkinson's disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and arthritis.

In people aged 50 years, sleeping less than 5 hours was associated with a 20% increase in the risk of developing one chronic disease compared to those who slept well. In general, those who regularly slept five hours or less at the ages of 50, 60, and 70 had a 30-40% higher risk of multimorbidity than people who slept about seven hours a night.

The study also found that among those who reported little sleep at age 50, the risk of dying at some point during the 25-year follow-up period was 25% higher. This may be due to an increased risk of chronic diseases. As the scientists explained, they increase the mortality rate.

However, this conclusion was not the only result of the researchers' work. It turned out that among those who sleep more than 9 hours a night, problems usually arise when they turn 60-70 years old. Although they can develop earlier. At the same time, no such connection could be established in healthy people aged 50.

The researchers suggest that if participants already had one chronic disease at the age of 50, those who slept for a long time had a 35% increased risk of developing another disease. This was probably due to underlying health conditions.

Based on the results of her work, Sabia advised people to observe sleep hygiene. Sleep in quiet and dark rooms with optimal temperature, do not abuse the use of electronic gadgets before bed, and do not eat too much at night. In addition, she advised to exercise and expose yourself to daylight, which also contributes to good sleep.

As OBOZREVATEL previously reported, there are five foods that interfere with healthy sleep - it is better to avoid them before going to bed.

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