Original article published by Safety+Health
Is getting seven hours of sleep something you can only dream of? Results of a recent study suggest that falling two hours short of the recommended limit increases your risk of developing at least two chronic diseases.
Using data from nearly 8,000 British adults between 50 and 70 years old, researchers looked for links between sleep duration, mortality and whether participants had been diagnosed with chronic diseases such as heart disease, cancer or diabetes over 25 years.
Compared with the participants who slept up to seven hours a night, those who slept five hours or less a night at age 50 were 40% more likely to be diagnosed with multiple chronic diseases. They also had a 25% increased risk of mortality over the 25-year follow-up period.
The National Sleep Foundation recommends working-age adults get seven to nine hours of sleep a night. Older adults should get seven to eight hours.
“To ensure a better night’s sleep, it is important to promote good sleep hygiene, such as making the bedroom quiet, dark and at a comfortable temperature, before sleeping,” said lead study author Severine Sabia, a researcher at the University College London. “It’s also advised to remove electronic devices and avoid large meals before bedtime. Physical activity and exposure to light during the day might also promote good sleep.”
The study was published online in the journal PLOS Medicine.
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First published by Safety+Health an NSC publication
Lansing, MI – If you rely on caffeine to provide a brain boost after a poor night of sleep, findings of a recent study from researchers at Michigan State University may give you a jolt.
Researchers from MSU’s Sleep and Learning Lab asked 276 people to complete separate tasks one evening. One task involved simply paying attention, while the other required completing steps in a specific order. Participants then were randomly assigned to either stay up all night at the sleep lab or return home to sleep.
The next morning, all of the participants reconvened at the sleep lab and were given either a 200-milligram caffeine capsule or a placebo. Each was asked to complete both tasks again.
Lead study author Kimberly Fenn, an associate professor of cognition and cognitive neuroscience at MSU, said in a press release that although caffeine assisted the participants with completing the attention-based task, “it had little effect on performance on the place keeping task for most participants.”
Fenn added that consuming caffeine after sleep deprivation “doesn’t do much to prevent the sort of procedural errors” that can trigger medical mistakes and vehicle crashes.
“Caffeine increases energy, reduces sleepiness and can even improve mood, but it absolutely does not replace a full night of sleep,” Fenn said. “Although people may feel as if they can combat sleep deprivation with caffeine, their performance on higher-level tasks will likely still be impaired. This is one of the reasons that sleep deprivation can be so dangerous.”
The study was published online May 20 in the Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition.
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