Sleep Disorders

15 July 2010

Sleep wards off chronic disease

Too much or too little sleep may increase your risk of developing chronic conditions such as obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure and cardiovascular disease, research shows.

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Too much or too little sleep may increase your risk of developing chronic conditions such as obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure and cardiovascular disease, research shows.

"Seven to eight hours of sleep each night appears to be the ideal amount to maximise health benefits and minimize cardiometabolic disease risks," co-lead author Orfeu Buxton, a researcher in the sleep medicine division at Brigham and Women's Hospital (BWH) in Boston, said in a joint news release from BWH and San Diego State University (SDSU).

The study

Buxton and colleagues analysed data from 56 507 American adults who took part in the National Health Interview Survey and found that, compared with sleeping between seven and eight hours a night, sleeping less than six hours and more than nine hours was associated with increased risk for chronic conditions, including obesity, diabetes and high blood pressure.

The study was released in the journal Social Science & Medicine.

"Obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular disease are among the leading causes of death in the United States," co-lead author Enrico Marcelli, an associate professor in the sociology department and the Institute for Behavioural and Community Health Studies at SDSU, said in the news release. "These findings emphasize the important role sleep plays in the health of Americans, and indicate that sleep may have a larger influence on these chronic diseases than diet or exercise." - (HealthDay News, July 2010)

 

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Sleep disorders expert

Dr Alison Bentley is a general practitioner who has consulted in sleep medicine and sleep disorders, in both adults and children of all ages, for almost 30 years. She also researches and publishes on a number of sleep-related topics both in formal research journals and lay publications including as editor of Sleep Matters, an educational newsletter on sleep disorders for doctors.

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