Lack Of Adequate Sleep Can Cause Issues Such As Obesity, Heart Disease And Hypertension, study Shows

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A recent study by Flinders University researchers has revealed that a significant portion of adults globally struggle to achieve the recommended seven to nine hours of sleep each night. Approximately one-third of adults fail to meet this guideline, with only 15% consistently meeting it for five or more nights per week. Additionally, even among those who do manage to sleep within this range, around 40% of their sleep falls outside of the ideal duration over a nine-month period.

Poor sleep quality linked to health issues

According to study author, Dr. Hannah Scot, the implications of the issue cannot be overstated since insufficient sleep, or even excessive sleep, is correlated with adverse outcomes. It is important to note that attaining the recommended duration of sleep regularly poses a significant challenge for numerous individuals, particularly amidst the demands of the workweek.

The research examined sleep data from nearly 68,000 adults across Europe and North America using mattress sleep trackers over nine months. Results indicated that sleeping less than six hours a night was associated with higher mortality risk and health problems like heart disease, obesity, and hypertension. Sleeping less than seven or more than nine hours also had negative health effects, such as digestive and neuro-behavioral issues.

The study found variations in sleep patterns based on gender and age, with females tending to sleep longer than males, and middle-aged individuals sleeping less compared to younger and older age groups.

How to improve sleep quality

Researchers emphasized the importance of maintaining a consistent sleep schedule, even on weekends, and catching up on sleep if necessary. Symptoms of insufficient sleep that should be noted include daytime drowsiness, fatigue, poor concentration, memory issues, and potential driving errors. Individuals sleeping less than seven hours could try longer sleep schedules or naps.

Following good sleep hygiene, such as avoiding caffeine and alcohol before bedtime, may help improve sleep quality. Additionally, consulting a general practitioner for concerns about sleep is advised, as treatment options are available through referrals to sleep specialists for various sleep disorders like sleep apnea and insomnia.

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