Six Hours of Sleep Tied with Premature Deaths For Mid-Aged Adults

Doctors recommend 7-8 hours of sleep every night, but what happens if you have less of that? The latest study shows a gloomy link between sleeping 6 h or less and enhanced risks of cancer and premature death.

The above study appeared in the Journal of the American Heart Association. Middle-aged adults with high blood pressure, Type 2 diabetes, heart disease, or stroke can cancel out the early death risk by getting a proper amount of sleep; otherwise, the conditions can worsen significantly over time, as illustrated below.

The research data was collected from 1,654 people aged 20 to 74 from the Penn State Adult Cohort database.

The participants were classified under specific criteria: the first group included people with stage 2 high blood pressure or Type 2 diabetes and the second heart disease or stroke.

Between 1991 and 1998 the volunteers spent several nights at a sleep laboratory, from where the researchers began making connections. Until the end of 2016, have been reported 512 deaths, where a quarter of them caused by cancer, and a third – heart disease or stroke.

Sleep Deprivation Can Kill You

The researchers noticed that the individuals from the group with high blood pressure or diabetes that used to sleep six or fewer hours had double chances of death associated with their conditions, compared to those who slept more.

The individuals from the heart disease and stroke group exposed themselves to three times more risks of cancer.

The study author Julio Fernandez-Mendoza, associate professor at Pennsylvania State College of Medicine, stated that sleeping more than 6 hours can be regarded as a ‘protective’ measure, especially for people with the mentioned conditions.

I’d like to see policy changes so that sleep consultations and sleep studies become a more integral part of our healthcare systems.

In order to draw a permanent conclusion, the research needs extra evidence, as well as volunteers. Does inducing sleep by medical or behavioural therapy delay death?

Better identification of people with specific sleep issues would potentially lead to improved prevention, more complete treatment approaches, better long-term outcomes and less healthcare usage.”

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