Unlocking the Secrets of Longevity: How Sleep Quality Impacts Life Expectancy

Posted on:May 17, 2023
Last Updated: May 18, 2023
Time to read: 2 minutes

Good sleep habits are important for overall health.

A recent study found that young people with better sleep habits are less likely to die early, and approximately 8% of deaths from any cause could be attributed to poor sleep patterns. [Li & Qian, 2023]

Primer on Neurobiology and Neuropsychiatry of Sleep – Application to Clinical Practice

Insomnia – Neurobiology | Pathophysiology | Assessment and Management

The study analysed data from 172,321 participants who completed the National Health Interview Survey between 2013 and 2018. The study is the first to use a nationally representative population to examine how several sleep behaviours, not just sleep duration, might influence life expectancy. 

The study assessed five different factors of quality sleep using a low-risk sleep score:

  1. Ideal sleep duration of seven to eight hours a night,
  2. Difficulty falling asleep no more than two times a week,
  3. Trouble staying asleep no more than two times a week,
  4. Not using any sleep medication,
  5. Feeling well-rested after waking up at least five days a week.

The study found that individuals with all five favourable sleep factors were 30% less likely to die for any reason, 21% less likely to die from cardiovascular disease, 19% less likely to die from cancer, and 40% less likely to die of causes other than heart disease or cancer, compared to individuals with zero to one favourable sleep factors. 

The researchers found that individuals with all five favourable sleep factors, compared to individuals with zero to one favourable sleep factors, were:

  1. 30% less likely to die for any reason,
  2. 21% less likely to die from cardiovascular disease,
  3. 19% less likely to die from cancer, and
  4. 40% less likely to die of causes other than heart disease or cancer

Although the study has limitations, such as self-reported sleep habits and no information about the types of sleep aid or medicine used, the researchers suggest that improving sleep habits overall, identifying sleep disorders, and assessing sleep more often in clinical encounters can greatly benefit long-term health.

Understanding the importance of good sleep hygiene and incorporating questions about sleep habits into assessments can improve overall patient care and potentially prevent premature mortality. 

References