It’s long been known that getting deep, restful sleep is critical to overall wellness; we’re previously mentioned it here and here. Now another study surfaces demonstrating how uninterrupted sleep is connected to a longer overall lifespan.
A joint study between Stanford University and the Danish Center for Sleep Medicine administered more than 13,000 polysomnography tests. PSGs gather a range of biometric data while an individual is asleep, including nasal pressure, breathing rate, oxygen levels and heart rate. They can also tell if an individual is in REM sleep. In particular, they looked at the number of times an individual’s sleep was disrupted during the night, which can be used to calculate the individual’s “sleep age,” or the amount of sleep they’re getting relative to their actual age.
Researchers found a clear correlation between the amount of sleep you get and your overall mortality rate. Individuals who have more hours of uninterrupted sleep tend to live longer. Specifically, people whose sleep age is ten years younger than their actual age – i.e. have fewer sleep disturbances – can live up to 8.7 years longer than their peers with similar health profiles.
However, this cuts both ways. People whose sleep age is ten years older than their actual age – i.e. people who have fewer hours of uninterrupted sleep – can reduce their life expectancy by the same number: 8.7 years.
Bottom line: getting sleep issues under control can help you stay alive.