Poor sleep makes people feel older: Study

A proper sleep pattern goes a long way in keeping your health in check, but if you suffer from a lack of it, you may face the consequences.
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Don't underestimate the power of good sleep! Image courtesy: Shutterstock
Team Health Shots Updated: 24 Nov 2021, 20:54 pm IST
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We all know about the boons of a good night’s sleep, and the banes of the lack of it! But according to a new research, people who are over 50 and battle with a poor sleep pattern, can face negative perceptions about ageing. And that can, in fact, impact their physical, mental and cognitive health.

Makes you wake up to its severity, doesn’t it?

The study, published in the Behavioral Sleep Medicine Journal and led by the University of Exeter, found that people who rated their sleep the worst also felt older, and perceived their own physical and mental ageing more negatively.

Here’s the link between your sleep and health

Lead author Serena Sabatini, of the University of Exeter, said, “As we age, we all experience both positive and negative changes in many areas of our lives. However, some people perceive more negative changes than others.

“As we know that having a negative perception of ageing can be detrimental to future physical health, mental health, and cognitive health, an open question in ageing research is to understand what makes people more negative about ageing.”

You should nap for a minimum of 6 hours daily. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

The study needs to be explored further, but Sabatini says the findings could be a sign that addressing sleep difficulties could promote a better perception of ageing, and that in turn, could have other health benefits.

In the research, 4,482 people aged 50 and over were surveyed. The participants were asked whether they had experienced a list of negative age-related changes, such as poorer memory, less energy, increased dependence on the help of others, decreased motivation, and having to limit their activities. They also rated their quality of sleep.

Also Read: A doctor reveals the repercussions of sleeping for less than 6 hours every day

Health problems due to lack of sleep

Doctors have for long pointed at the health issues that can be caused by a lack of snooze time.

From cardiovascular diseases, depression, decline in cognitive health to weight gain, poor sex drive and skin problems – it can affect your body and mind in multiple ways.

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Here’s what to avoid to have a good night’s sleep:
  • Avoid drinking coffee near at bedtime
  • Reduce exposure to lights when it’s nap time
  • Say no to snacking
  • Avoid exercising, but you can do some bedtime yoga
  • Keep stress at bay.

(With inputs from ANI)

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