Sleeping For Less Than Five Hours Could Put You At Higher Risk Of Chronic Diseases, Study Finds

According to a new study, sleeping for less than five hours can put you at a higher risk of developing chronic diseases. Read on.

Navya Kharbanda
Written by: Navya KharbandaUpdated at: Oct 20, 2022 18:37 IST
Sleeping For Less Than Five Hours Could Put You At Higher Risk Of Chronic Diseases, Study Finds

According to a recent study, published in PLOS Medicine, led by UCL researchers, it was found that sleeping for less than five hours in middle-to-late life may be linked to an increased risk of getting affected with at least two chronic illnesses. The research examined the effect of sleeping hours on the health of over 7,000 men and women of the ages 50, 60 and 70, from the Whitehall II cohort study.

Participants who were taking five hours of sleep or less at the age of 50 were 20% at a higher risk of getting diagnosed with a chronic disease and 40% more likely to get diagnosed with two or more chronic conditions in more than 25 years, as compared to individuals who slept for seven hours. Moreover, sleeping for five hours or less at the age of 50, 60, and 70 was associated with a 30% to 40% higher risk of multimorbidity when compared with people who slept for at least seven hours. 

Lead author of the study, Dr. Severine Sabia (UCL Institute of Epidemiology & Health, and Inserm, Universite Paris Cite), said, "Multimorbidity is on the rise in high income countries and more than half of older adults now have at least two chronic diseases. This is proving to be a major challenge for public health, as multimorbidity is associated with high healthcare service use, hospitalisations and disability. As people get older, their sleep habits and sleep structure change. However, it is recommended to sleep for 7 to 8 hours a night - as sleep durations above or below this have previously been associated with individual chronic diseases."

Also read: What Is Sleep Deprivation? Here Are Its Causes, Signs, Treatment And Side-Effects

"Our findings show that short sleep duration is also associated with multimorbidity. To ensure a better night's sleep, it is important to promote good sleep hygiene, such as making sure the bedroom is quiet, dark and a comfortable temperature before sleeping. 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."