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Sleeping For Longevity

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Sleeping might seem like a way to get enough rest and while this is true, our body continues to function to ensure optimal functioning and condition. In fact, as a result of getting sufficient sleep of good quality, you might be able to ensure that you live longer and healthier.

To learn more about sleeping for longevity and the connection between the two, the benefits that sleeping can have on the body and how you can improve your sleep, you can go through the following points.

Can Sleeping Impact Longevity?

Sleeping can actually have a positive impact on longevity. Sleeping well every night and for the required number of hours can help ensure that the body is functioning as it is supposed to while also aiding the organs and systems of the body.

You can reduce the risk of chronic and fatal diseases, which can help ensure that you do not age and die prematurely.

Several studies have been conducted to see if sleeping can really have an impact on longevity. Based on the research, there are certain correlations and connections between sleep and longevity.

For instance, according to a study, the “oldest old individuals” aged between 85 and 105 years of age presented several bodily markers and criteria that point to the importance of sleep in longevity.

This study also showed that while the quality of sleep becomes poorer with old age, the health markers are quite favorable, such as higher high-density lipoprotein or HDL (or good) cholesterol and lower triglyceride levels. The sleep schedules of the oldest individuals were also stricter and more regular as compared to those younger than them.

In this sense, then, it is clear that getting good sleep can certainly have an impact on longevity.


Benefits Of Sleeping

What is it about sleeping that contributes to this kind of longevity? How does sleeping benefit our health and bodies that end up making people live longer and not die prematurely?

Due to the circadian rhythm that sleeping can help establish, the body begins to function on the basis of an internal clock that can then aid the bodily processes. You can go through some of these benefits below.

Cellular Function And Immunity

Sleep can help improve cellular function in the body. Our cells can stay healthy as a result of a good night’s sleep, especially since they make use of this time to renew as well as repair themselves so that all your bodily organs can function properly.

This applies to the brain, tissues, muscles and all organs in the body. The skin cells, for instance, also undergo repair and renewal through the night, thus ensuring greater protection from environmental stressors that can otherwise lead to aging and risks of diseases like cancer.

As a result of this kind of cellular improvement, the immunity also benefits and becomes more equipped to deal with harmful cells entering the body. As a result, you can stay protected from major illnesses and diseases.

Cognitive And Neurological Support

Sleeping well can also offer cognitive and neurological support. Given that you can rest enough and allow the cells to work their functions throughout the night, sleep can help keep you attentive and sharp when you wake up while also improving functions like memory, alertness, recall, learning, problem-solving and more.

As a result, even as you age, you can continue to rely on your brain to keep you cognitively fit. Even at a young age, a good night’s sleep is key to keeping you alert during the day to help improve your performance and ensure that you do not get into major accidents that may reduce your lifespan.

At night, the brain also gets rid of potential toxins present that can otherwise lead to neurological damage. Good sleep can additionally reduce the risk of conditions like Alzheimer’s.

Metabolism And Cardiovascular Health

Getting good sleep can help maintain metabolic homeostasis which is important to maintain several functions of the body. Getting insufficient or disturbed sleep can mess up this state of balance and have an impact on your health by leading to inflammation, overstimulation, stress and hormonal changes.

Not sleeping enough and well, combined with poor metabolism, can also lead to cardiovascular health issues such as increased risks of strokes, diabetes, high blood pressure and chronic heart diseases. This risk can increase considerably if poor sleeping patterns become a habit.

Additionally, if you have sleep conditions such as apnea, this can increase the risk of such cardiovascular health problems.

Hormones

Sleep can help maintain and regulate proper hormonal release. In the absence of proper sleep, your hormones can end up undergoing changes and may get secreted or released infrequently or too frequently. For instance, your insulin sensitivity might reduce, your cortisol and ghrelin concentrations might increase and so on.

These can then create problems in your body such as weight fluctuations, fatigue, sudden changes in hunger levels, low levels of energy, poor metabolism and an increased risk of certain diseases.

For children, in particular, maintaining proper sleep can highly benefit health and hormonal secretion since this can prevent obesity and behavioral issues.

Mental Health

Sleeping sufficiently can have benefits when it comes to mental health as well by keeping you energetic, active and stable in terms of your mood. The body can also become more equipped to manage stressors in the environment.

Sleep deprivation or disturbed sleep, on the other hand, can lead to fatigue, stress, anxiety, depression, mood swings, drowsiness and inattention. These can not only affect your performance throughout the day, but can also lead to more chronic mental health issues if this becomes a pattern.

These can then end up reducing your lifespan early on or can lead to premature aging.

Ensuring that you get enough sleep, therefore, can keep you psychologically fit and healthy in the short and long run.

Pattern Establishment

Since our bodies tend to work on an internal clock, sleeping properly and on a given schedule can help the body function well throughout the night and day. This kind of cycle can have several benefits for several other processes and systems in the body as well.

For instance, it can regulate hunger and eating patterns while also establishing proper meal times that the body can make you aware of. This kind of circadian rhythm can create regulation and cooperation in the body so that none of the processes gets skipped during your waking hours.

This pattern can help determine mental functioning as well.


Connection Between Sleeping And Longevity

Now that you know about the numerous benefits that sleeping can lead to, it is clear that sleeping well can contribute to longevity. Although the sleep quality can decrease as one ages, maintaining a proper sleeping routine throughout one’s lifespan can help keep premature (if not natural) aging at bay.

Sleeping For Longevity

There are some more connections between sleeping and longevity as well that are essential for you to note here. For instance, how long you sleep each night and how well you sleep can become important factors contributing to this longevity.

You can go through these aspects below.

Sleep Quantity

Healthy adults require 7-9 hours of sleep each night. This also applies to older adults aged over 65 who require around 8 hours of sleep every night. This sleep quantity is important to maintain since anything less than this can result in sleep deprivation that can cause various risks and health issues.

You should note that infants, kids and adolescents often require more sleep than adults, not to mention that the sleep quantity can sometimes also differ on a case-by-case basis.

For instance, infants require as much as 12-16 hours of sleep per 24 hours, while kids aged 6-12 years require 9-12 hours of sleep. Teenagers usually need 8-10 hours of sleep.

Sleeping too much can also create issues for the body, increasing all-cause mortality and increasing the risk of certain conditions, which is why it is crucial to regulate how much you sleep each night.

In essence, both long and short sleep can both increase mortality as opposed to healthy sleep.

Sleep Quality

As important as it is to get a certain number of hours of sleep, it is equally important for you to sleep well. Having good sleeping patterns, such as sleeping at a certain time every night and waking up routinely, can benefit your health as well.

The sleep cycle also functions in a way that involves different stages that include rapid eye movement (REM) and non-rapid eye movement (NREM). Typically, the final stage of the cycle is the REM, while the others are NREM, with each night’s sleep having multiple such cycles.

Disruptions to this sleep cycle can impact your health and lifespan. Additionally, sleep disorders such as insomnia and sleep apnea can end up damaging the sleep quality as well.

Other lifestyle patterns can also have an impact on how well you sleep, such as exercise, healthy eating patterns and taking short naps during the day, as found in a study that was conducted on the elderly in a village in Japan.


How To Improve Your Sleep

It is important for you to maintain your sleeping routine and quality if you want to improve your health and lifespan. If you are getting good quality sleep every night while also sleeping enough, you do not have much to worry about, at least in this regard.

However, if you have trouble sleeping well or face too many interruptions, there are some measures that you can try out to improve your sleep. You can go through some of these below.

  • Reduce the brightness in your room. Turn off all the lights if possible so that you can maintain sleep quality throughout the night.
  • Minimize noise in the room so that there are no disturbances that can wake you up.
  • Maintain a routine every night by falling asleep at the same time each night.
  • Do not have too much food, alcohol or caffeine right before sleeping.
  • Exercise well regularly.
  • Try not to use electronics right before bed.
  • Seek treatment for sleep disorders.

Sleeping For Longevity: Final Remarks

It is clear that sleeping well and enough can have several connections with longevity due to the benefits that sleep can result in. Make sure you improve your sleeping and lifestyle habits so that you can glean these benefits for yourself to prevent too many health issues.

Rosemary Richards
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