Posted on Sep 13, 2016, 10 a.m.
Lack of sleep raises the risk of making poor lifestyle choices.
Sleep is an anti-aging essential, as achieving quality restful sleep helps us to perform better both mentally and physically. Alice Jessie Clark from the University of Copenhagen (Denmark), and colleagues reaffirm that achieving a good night's sleep is important for our future health – because doing so makes it easier to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Analyzing data collected on 37,508 adults enrolled in the longitudinal Finnish Public Sector Study, the researchers found that impaired sleep increases a person’s risk of making poor lifestyle choices. Smokers who maintained a sleeping pattern characterized by normal sleep duration and undisturbed nights were less likely to still be smoking and more likely to have quit smoking four years on, when compared to those who either shortened their average sleep duration or experienced an increase in sleep disturbances. Similar patterns were also observed in regards to other adverse lifestyle changes, with onset of impaired sleep inflicting a higher risk of uptake of high-risk alcohol consumption (among non-risk consumers), of becoming physically inactive (among the initially physically active), and of becoming overweight or obese. Reporting that: “the onset of short or disturbed sleep are risk factors for adverse changes in health-related behaviours,” the study authors submit that: “These findings highlight potential pathways linking impaired sleep to the development of lifestyle-related morbidity and mortality.”
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Clark AJ, Salo P, Lange T, Jennum P, Virtanen M, Pentti J, Kivimäki M, Vahtera J, Rod NH. “Onset of impaired sleep as a predictor of change in health-related behaviours; analysing observational data as a series of non-randomized pseudo-trials.” Int J Epidemiol. 2015 May 11. pii: dyv063.