If you can master these five sleep habits, you’ll cut your risk of dying by 30%, a Harvard study suggests
Mastering five key sleep habits can reduce your risk of dying by 30 percent, a study suggests.
Researchers at Harvard University claim they have conducted some of the most comprehensive sleep research to date.
They say that while previous research has looked at sleep duration, other bedtime behaviors have been neglected.
Using their new five-rule method, the researchers estimate that 8 percent of all deaths from any cause in the US can be attributed to poor sleep patterns.
People who met all five criteria were 30% less likely to die for any reason, compared with those who met none or one of the sleep habits, the Harvard researchers found.
The five components are: getting seven to eight hours of sleep a night, difficulty falling asleep no more than two nights a week, difficulty staying asleep no more than twice a week, not using sleeping pills, and feeling well rested afterward. waking up at least five days a week.
Nearly one-third of US adults don’t get the minimum seven hours of sleep each night recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Sleep is essential downtime for the brain and body to recover and repair, and those who don’t get enough sleep or wake up repeatedly may be at increased risk of a number of diseases, including coronary heart disease and cancer. .
It’s the first time a nationally representative sample has been used to examine how overall sleep habits, rather than just sleep duration, might influence life expectancy, the study authors said.
Researchers at Harvard Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston analyzed data from 172,321 people between 2013 and 2018.
The data comes from people who participated in the National Health Interview Survey, an annual survey of general health conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the National Center for Health Statistics that includes questions about the dream.
The research team linked the data with records from the National Death Index to investigate the link between people’s sleep factors and cause of death.
The five sleep habits to reduce the risk of dying by 30%
- Getting seven to eight hours a night
- No difficulty falling asleep more than two nights a week
- No problem staying asleep more than twice a week
- No sleeping medication
- Feeling well rested after waking up at least five days a week.
They examined five different indicators of sleep quality: ideal sleep duration of seven to eight hours a night; difficulty falling asleep no more than twice a week; difficulty staying asleep no more than twice a week; do not use any sleeping medication; and feeling well-rested after waking up at least five days a week.
Participants received a score of zero or one for each criterion depending on whether they met it, with a maximum of five points.
Factors that might have made people more likely to die, such as lower socioeconomic status, tobacco and alcohol use, and other medical conditions, were controlled for.
Those who met all five criteria were 30 percent less likely to die for any reason, compared with those who met none or one of the sleep habits.
Those who slept better were also 21 percent less likely to die from cardiovascular disease, and 19 percent less likely to die from cancer.
They were also 40 percent less likely to die from causes other than heart disease or cancer.
Dr. Frank Qian, a physician at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and a co-author of the study, said these other causes are likely to be accidents, infections or neurodegenerative diseases, such as dementia and Parkinson’s, but added that more research is needed.
Study limitations included the fact that sleep habits were self-reported.
There was also no information available on the type of sleep medication the patients used or for how long.
The full results will be presented in New Orleans at the joint conference of the American College of Cardiology and the World Heart Federation on March 4-6.