This higher risk of chronic illnesses accompanies one another, leading to multimorbidity.
A new study by the University College London reports that getting <5 hours of sleep in mid-to-late life could be linked to an increased risk of developing at least two chronic diseases.
Learn More About Your Sleep And Your Risk For Sleep Disorder With The Gene Sleep Report
How Much Sleep Do You Need?
The ideal quantity of sleep varies by age and depends on the individual.
According to the National Sleep Foundation, these ranges are ideal:
- 0-3 months: 14-17 hours for newborns.
- Early childhood (ages 1-2): 11–14 hours
- Ages 3-5 in preschool: 10–13 hours
- School hours for children (6-13 years old): 9-11 hours
- 14-17 years: 8-10 hours
- Adults under 25 (18 to 25): 7-9 hours
- Adults aged 26 to 64: 7-9 hours.
- Adults over 65: 7-8 hours
Factors Affecting Sleep Duration
Poor sleep hygiene can impact the quality of sleep.
Here are some factors that have a profound impact on your sleep duration.
The bedroom should be calm, dark, and light-free. A few hours before bed, blue light from devices such as TVs, computers, and phones should be avoided as it increases alertness.
Disorders like insomnia can make it difficult to fall or stay asleep and can result in poor-quality sleep.
The nighttime symptoms of narcolepsy include frightening dreams and frequent awakenings, which can impair sleep quality.
The exact mechanisms that control your sleep-wake cycle and whether you feel alert and awake or drowsy and relaxed are linked to the genes that may cause insomnia.
Serotonin, adenosine, GABA, hypocretin/orexin, and other neurotransmitters that are involved in your circadian rhythm may be impacted by these genes.
How Do Genes Affect Your Sleep Duration?
Researchers calculate that heredity contributes between 31% and 58% to your likelihood of having a shorter sleep duration.
There are 80 distinct genes with 126 variants associated with sleep duration.
This unique mutation that is inherited within the family seems to have reduced the sleep cycle of whoever received a copy of this mutant gene.
This gene implies further complications like resting heart rate, variation in and short sleep, and familial natural short sleep (FNSS).
Other characteristics of sleep, such as how much sleep you require, your chronotype, or whether you are an early bird or a night owl, are also influenced by your genes.
Shorter Sleep Equals Higher Risk For Health Conditions: The Study
Researchers at the University of London analyzed the impact of sleep duration on the health of more than 7000 men and women at the ages of 50, 60, and 70.
The study was done over a period of 25 years and recorded how long each participant slept, their mortality, and whether or not they were diagnosed with 2 or more chronic conditions.
Chronic conditions include obesity, heart disease, cancer, diabetes, etc.
People who reported five hours or less of sleep per night at age 50 had:
- a 20% higher risk for 1 chronic disease
- a 40% higher risk for 2 or more chronic conditions over the course of 25 years.
In addition, it was discovered that a sleep duration of five hours or less at age 50 was linked to a 25% increased risk of mortality over a 25-year period of follow-up.
This association can largely be explained by the fact that short sleep duration increases the risk of chronic disease(s), increasing the risk of death.
Researchers examined if getting a long night’s sleep—nine hours or more—had an impact on health outcomes as part of the study.
Long sleep durations at age 50 were not significantly associated with multimorbidity in healthy individuals.
- Sleep is vital for one’s health and well-being. Good sleep hygiene is a key feature of adequate sleep duration.
- The shorter the sleep duration, the higher the risk of multiple chronic diseases.
- There are several factors affecting sleep duration, including genetics. A protein coding gene called ADRB1 was found to be unique to naturally short sleepers.
- Study findings report that five hours of sleep or less at age 50 is associated with a 20% higher chance of receiving a chronic disease diagnosis.