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Sleep, Insomnia and Lifespan

Sleep, Insomnia and Lifespan 1024 682 BodyWHealth

Sleep is for sissies! Have you ever heard this boast? Usually from hard-driving over-achievers. Here is why they’re wrong!

For many years, we scientists underestimated the value of sleep. We regarded it as a nice-to-have. Then things changed. As we stood back and reviewed the results of our studies, our jaws dropped at the impact that sleep has on our health and happiness.

Colleagues at Penn State explored their impressive sleep data base (known as the Penn State Cohort) to determine the impact of sleep on lifespan. They tracked the lives of 1700 men and women for more than 10 years, with dramatic headlines.

On average, subjects slept for about 6 hours a night. Men who slept for less than 6 hours per night were at substantially higher risk of death than those who slept longer. Interestingly, even when correcting for the presence of life-threatening diseases, men who slept less than 6 hours and reported insomnia fared worst of all, with a death rate 4 times higher than men who slept longer than 6 hours with no reported disruption in their sleep. There were fewer deaths in women than men, making it hard to draw conclusions for women. But, at least in men, this research provided compelling additional evidence for the beneficial effects of a good night’s sleep.

Sleep is the downtime during which our bodies, minds and emotions recuperate. To live long, healthy and happy, you need to take sleep seriously!

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