The study used data from 7,864 people to assess the risk of chronic diseases in older adults.
A common complaint of aging has to do with sleep. There are people who sleep fewer hours at night and, in addition to not benefiting from rest, can have negative effects on health. To find out how long it takes to rest at night from the age of 50 to avoid chronic diseases and multiple pathologies, when a person has a combination of these conditions, a group of researchers evaluated data from 7,864 people in London over the age of 25 and found that in this age group, it is necessary to sleep at least five hours.
According to the study, the analysis found that shorter sleep duration at age 50 is associated with a 20 percent increased risk of developing early chronic diseases, such as cancer, depression and cardiovascular disease, and an increased risk of multiple diseases. The results were published in the scientific journal Plos Medicine.
The data the researchers analyzed came from professionals working in London offices and was collected from volunteers in their 50s, 60s and 70s. They determined sleep duration and investigated the onset of first chronic disease, progression to multiple morbidity, and death. Among the participants, 544 (6.9%) reported that they slept five hours or less per night. Six hours were the 2,562 (32.6%) previously reported, seven hours by 3,589 (45.6%), eight hours by 1,092 (13.9%), and 77 (1.0%) reported sleeping nine hours or more. Compared with seven hours of sleep, sleep duration equal to or less than five hours was associated with an increased risk of developing two or more chronic diseases in later life.
“Of the 7,217 participants free of chronic disease at age 50, 4,446 developed their first chronic disease, 2,297 progressed to multiple diseases, and 787 subsequently died,” the study says.
Sleep has been consolidated, in recent years, as one of the pillars of health and well-being. This year was so significant that it was included in the American Heart Association’s list of essential standards for a healthy heart and brain, Life’s Essential 8.