-- Robert Preidt
FRIDAY, Oct. 4 (HealthDay News) -- Getting too little or too
much sleep is associated with chronic diseases such as heart
disease and diabetes, a new study finds.
"Sleeping longer doesn't necessarily mean you're sleeping well," said Dr. Safwan Badr, president of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine. "It is important to understand that both the quality and quantity of sleep impact your health . . . When and how you sleep is just as important as what you eat or how you exercise."
Adults should aim for seven to nine hours of sleep each night to
receive the health benefits of sleep, Badr said in an academy news
For the study, published in the October issue of the journal
Sleep, researchers looked at more than 54,000 Americans aged
45 and older in 14 states. About one-third of them were short
sleepers (less than six hours per night), 4 percent were long
sleepers (10 or more hours) and 64 percent were optimal sleepers
(seven to nine hours).
Compared to optimal sleepers, short sleepers were more likely to
have heart disease, stroke, diabetes, obesity and frequent mental
distress. The same was true for long sleepers, and the associations
with heart disease, stroke and diabetes were even stronger with
Study co-author Janet Croft said some of the relationships
between unhealthy sleep duration and chronic diseases were
partially explained by frequent mental distress and obesity. "This
suggests that physicians should consider monitoring mental health
and body weight in addition to sleep health for patients with
chronic diseases," said Croft, a senior chronic disease
epidemiologist in the division of population health at the U.S.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Sleep illnesses -- including sleep apnea and insomnia -- occur
frequently in people with a chronic disease and can hinder your
ability to sleep soundly, Badr noted. "So if you're waking up
exhausted, speak with a sleep physician to see if there's a
problem. If you are diagnosed with a sleep illness, treating it
could significantly improve disease symptoms and your quality of
life," Badr explained.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has more
and sleep disorders.
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
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