Yes Really – The Secret To A Longer Life Lies In Your Bed

Trying to get seven or eight hours of sleep every night is not for the fainthearted. We would all love to be asleep by 11:00pm but doing that every night feels impossible. Though it’s difficult, sleeping more has some seriously important health benefits.

“Sleep helps your brain to work properly: while you sleep, your brain is hard at work forming the pathways necessary for learning and creating memories,” Jade Wells, Senior Physiologist at Nuffield Health, tells HuffPost UK.

When we get sufficient sleep we are able to maintain normal levels of cognitive skills,” Wells adds.

And now new research has found that young people who have good sleeping habits reduce their risk of dying early. The number of hours a person sleeps is not enough to gain health benefits, though the quality of sleep is important.

The study found that good sleep was based on five various factors: good sleep length getting seven to eight hours a night, issues staying asleep no more than two times a week, trouble falling asleep no more than two times a week, not depending on sleep medication, and feeling relaxed after waking up at least five days a week.

8% of deaths could be caused by bad sleep patterns, according to the study.

“We saw a clear dose-response relationship, so the more beneficial factors someone has in terms of having higher quality of sleep, they also have a stepwise lowering of all cause and cardiovascular mortality,” Dr Frank Qian, an internal medicine resident physician at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, America shares.

Life expectancy was 4.7 years longer for men and 2.4 years lager for men and women who identified having all five quality sleep measures (a score of five). Compared to people who had none or only one of those factors.

172,321 people were involved in the National Health Interview Survey between 2013 and 2018. The average age of those being surveyed was 50, 54% were women, the study analysed the health of the population living in the US which featured questions about  people’s sleep and sleeping habits.

“Even from a young age, if people can develop these good sleep habits of getting enough sleep, making sure they are sleeping without too many distractions and have good sleep hygiene overall, it can greatly benefit their overall long-term health,” Qian says.