Tag Archives: sleep timing

Lack of sleep will catch up to you in more ways than one – Harvard Gazette

“There’s no evidence that you can oversleep,” said the Medical School’s Elizabeth Klerman. “Unlike chocolate cake you can eat when you’re not hungry, there’s no evidence you can sleep when you’re not tired.”

Experts from Harvard, Columbia University, the University of Miami, and the University of Massachusetts detailed the health implications of sleep in a conversation with CNN health reporter Jacqueline Howard on Thursday at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.

“Sleep in many ways is associated with mortality — cardiovascular disease, diabetes, mental health, brain health, immune function, respiratory conditions, and cognitive function and performance,” said Azizi Seixas, an associate professor at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine.

He and other panelists explored the health risks of long-term sleep deprivation and the fundamental role sleep plays in memory. According to Rebecca Spencer, a professor of psychology and brain science at UMass, “When you sleep, you’re taking this movie of your day and you’re putting it on replay, and it’s this great mnemonic device. It’s a way to really solidify the memories that we formed during our day.”

Those memories might include noise and other disruptions, introducing a wider challenge: While getting enough rest is important for everyone, the world can get in the way. Panelists zeroed in on noise pollution, racial disparities in sleep, and how policy decisions can leave us tired and vulnerable.

“We know, for example, that marginalized communities and racial and ethnic minorities are more likely to live in neighborhoods with socioeconomic disadvantage,” said Carmela Alcántara, an associate professor at Columbia University’s School of Social Work. “That can include neighborhoods that might have higher policing, neighborhoods that then have greater exposure to noise pollution, greater exposure to light pollution, and all these factors which we know impact short-term sleep and then can have these cascading long-term effects on sleep.”

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Less than five hours’ sleep a night linked to higher risk of multiple diseases

Getting less than five hours of sleep in mid-to-late life could be linked to an increased risk of developing at least two chronic diseases, finds a new study led by University College London (UCL) researchers.

The research, published in PLOS Medicine, analysed the impact of sleep duration on the health of more than 7,000 men and women at the ages of 50, 60 and 70, from the Whitehall II cohort study.

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Researchers examined the relationship between how long each participant slept for, mortality and whether they had been diagnosed with two or more chronic diseases (multimorbidity) — such as heart disease, cancer or diabetes — over the course of 25 years.

People who reported getting five hours of sleep or less at age 50 were 20% more likely to have been diagnosed with a chronic disease and 40% more likely to be diagnosed with two or more chronic diseases over 25 years, compared to people who slept for up to seven hours.

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Bedtime linked to heart health – ESC

 Going to sleep between 10:00 and 11:00 pm is associated with a lower risk of developing heart disease compared to earlier or later bedtimes, according to a study published in European Heart Journal – Digital Health, a journal of the European Society of Cardiology (ESC).

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“The body has a 24-hour internal clock, called circadian rhythm, that helps regulate physical and mental functioning,” said study author Dr. David Plans of the University of Exeter, UK. “While we cannot conclude causation from our study, the results suggest that early or late bedtimes may be more likely to disrupt the body clock, with adverse consequences for cardiovascular health.”

While numerous analyses have investigated the link between sleep duration and cardiovascular disease, the relationship between sleep timing and heart disease is under-explored. This study examined the association between objectively measured, rather than self-reported, sleep onset in a large sample of adults.

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