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Healthy Sleep Pattern Cuts Risk for Premature Death

Lori Solomons

TUESDAY, March 14, 2023 (HealthDay News) — A healthy sleep pattern is associated with a lower risk for premature mortality and higher life expectancy among US adults, according to a study presented at the annual meeting of the American College of Cardiology, held from March 4 to 6 in New Orleans.

Frank Qian, MD, from the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, and colleagues used data from the National Health Interview Survey (1997 to 2018) with linkage to the National Death Index records (through 2019) to examine the association between individual and combined sleep factors and all-cause and cause-specific mortality. A low-risk sleep pattern was defined as sleep duration of seven to eight hours/day, difficulty falling asleep two or fewer times/week, trouble staying asleep two or fewer times/week, no sleep medication use, and waking feeling rested five or more days/week. The analysis included data from 172,321 participants.

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The researchers found that for participants with five versus one or fewer low-risk sleep factors, there was a lower risk for all-cause mortality (hazard ratio [HR], 0.70), cardiovascular disease mortality (HR, 0.86), cancer mortality (HR, 0.81), and noncardiovascular, noncancer mortality (HR, 0.60). Suboptimal sleep patterns accounted for an estimated 7.9 percent of the population attributable risk from all-cause mortality. Compared with those with one or fewer low-risk sleep factors, life expectancy for individuals 30 years of age with all five low-risk sleep factors was 4.7 and 2.4 years greater for men and women, respectively.

“I think these findings emphasize that just getting enough hours of sleep isn’t sufficient,” Qian said in a statement. “You really have to have restful sleep.”