Studies conducted recently demonstrated that both men and women who scored well on five indicators of healthy sleep had longer lifespans compared to those scoring low or no positive characteristics in this category. Researchers hope health care providers will begin asking about sleep as part of overall health assessments or disease management plans.

Heart disease

Sleep deprivation is not only linked with heart disease; it’s also been shown to lead to obesity and lower resistance against infection. Ensuring you get enough rest promotes cardiovascular health by lowering blood pressure and preventing blood clots; it increases hormones that control body weight and metabolism as well as healthy glucose and cholesterol levels; research has also demonstrated this fact in individuals who get adequate rest – they tend to have stronger immunity systems and are less likely to fall prey to diseases like diabetes.

Studies conducted on people in their midlife have revealed that poor sleep quality and short duration is associated with an increased risk of coronary heart disease, including high systolic and diastolic blood pressure levels, coronary artery calcification, inflammatory markers, early symptoms of atherosclerosis as well as other early symptoms such as atherosclerosis. This finding holds especially true among those suffering from obstructive sleep apnea which disrupts circadian rhythms as well as autonomic nervous system balance – especially among those living with OSA which leads to high 24-hour blood pressure readings as well.

Researchers discovered a strong relationship between sleep problems and heart-related health conditions among both men and women, with more reported sleep issues increasing the risk for heart-related health problems. Sex had no bearing on these results nor race. Minoritized groups reported more heart-related health concerns than white participants though this did not seem related to poverty or other social factors.

Researchers found that those sleeping five or fewer hours per night were almost two times as likely to experience a heart attack compared to those sleeping six hours or more per night, even after taking into account other lifestyle and genetic factors like smoking and physical activity. Even when accounting for these risk factors, heart-attack risk increased dramatically among those who slept poorly.

“This study sends an encouraging message – even for people genetically predisposed to heart disease, getting proper rest can significantly lower risk,” according to Dr. Iyas Daghlas, lead researcher on the project. Sleeping more than eight hours each night may reduce heart-attack risk by 18 percent – so make sure you set a regular bedtime and adhere to it every night!

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Alzheimer’s disease

Alzheimer’s is still unknown; however, its initial causes appear to be protein amyloid beta deposits forming plaques in the brain, damaging and killing off brain cells over time. Over time this leads to memory loss and other cognitive issues for millions worldwide – Alzheimer’s alone being responsible for over 60 million dementia cases globally!

Researchers have recently discovered that sleep disturbances may increase the risk of Alzheimer’s disease. A JAMA Neurology study involved 4,417 participants who reported sleeping less than six hours per night and showed higher beta amyloid protein levels among them than their counterparts sleeping longer. Furthermore, those who reported less sleep than six hours had higher beta amyloid protein levels – meaning they may develop dementia over time.

Research suggests that lack of deep sleep can impair memory formation. A study among healthy older adults demonstrated this finding; those sleeping less than seven hours each night performed worse on tests measuring memory retention and problem solving ability than those sleeping the recommended amount.

Researchers have revealed that insufficient sleep can contribute to various other health problems, including diabetes and cardiovascular disease. It may also increase the risk of mental illnesses like depression as well as weight gain. Furthermore, insufficient rest increases levels of inflammatory chemicals known as cytokines that may trigger Alzheimer’s symptoms.

Sleep-disordered breathing disorders such as obstructive sleep apnea may also increase the risk of Alzheimer’s. If you notice yourself snoring or gasping for air at night, speak to your physician about treatment options.

New research suggests that certain sleep medication could slow or stop Alzheimer’s progression. A two-night study, led by researchers at Tulane University, indicated that people taking suvorexant (a sleep aid already approved by the FDA for insomnia) before bedtime experienced a drop in levels of key Alzheimer’s proteins; this corresponded with slower rate of dementia progression; although additional work must be conducted to confirm these results.

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Dementia

As is well-documented, sufficient sleep plays an integral part in cognitive health. Sleep can aid memory recall, learning new information processing techniques and concentration, emotional processing and placekeeping functions. People living with dementia often struggle with sleep issues; many studies have linked adequate rest with reduced risk and severity of dementia symptoms.

Alzheimer’s disease alters a person’s natural sleep-wake cycle, often leading to difficulty falling or staying asleep at night, awakening frequently during the night, or daytime napping. In later stages of Alzheimer’s, sleep disturbance may become even more severe – with people spending most of the night awake before becoming restless or agitated during evening hours and early nighttime hours, known as sundowning. A disruption in this pattern could also alter normal REM/NREM cycles resulting in changes that have an adverse impact on memory.

Studies have demonstrated that people living with dementia tend to sleep less, leading to reduced cognitive functioning. Researchers remain uncertain if poor sleep contributes directly or indirectly to dementia; they do know however, that dementia has been associated with changes to brain chemistry – including elevated levels of beta amyloid proteins which indicate Alzheimer’s or other types of dementia and are released into the bloodstream when certain parts of the brain stop working properly and release these proteins into circulation.

Recent research found that healthy older adults who reported sleeping six or fewer hours each night had higher beta amyloid levels compared with those who slept seven hours or more; the relationship was strong even after taking into account age, gender, education and other potential influences that might increase dementia risk.

Researchers have also concluded that sleep disorders like obstructive sleep apnea increase the risk of dementia. It’s believed this occurs because such disorders use more energy while sleeping, potentially decreasing blood flow to the brain and leading to damage over time.

Cancer

Sleep deprivation has long been linked with an increased risk of cancer, with studies revealing that those who get insufficient rest tend to live shorter lives than those who sleep enough. Furthermore, breast, colorectal and thyroid cancers have all been associated with lack of rest; possibly because lack of rest impacts hormone levels or production of other chemicals such as cortisol and melatonin that contribute to cancer formation. Although the exact reasons remain unknown at present; one possible theory holds that lack of rest changes hormone levels or alters production or impacts the production of chemicals such as cortisol and melatonin which are both related to cancer development.

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People living with cancer are at an increased risk for experiencing sleep issues and insomnia after finishing treatment, and this may linger even after recovery has been complete. Unfortunately, recovery does not follow a set timeline, leaving survivors susceptible to anxiety over potential recurrence or progression of disease that can still disrupt quality of life and sleep patterns.

Studies have demonstrated that women with breast cancer experience shorter sleep durations than their counterparts without it due to emotional responses surrounding diagnosis, treatment and side effects such as pain and fatigue (Savard and Morin 2001; Trudel-Fitzgerald et al 2013; Zhou and Recklitis 2014).

Researchers have suggested that sleep loss increases one’s risk of cancer by disrupting circadian rhythms – the natural body rhythms which regulate how our bodies work and produce hormones – impacting genes that control circadian rhythms, in turn controlling our hormone production and thus how they function and produce them. It may explain why people working shift work who disrupted circadian rhythms are at higher risk for certain cancer types such as those affecting colon, ovaries or prostate.

Studies have linked shorter sleep duration to specific cancers, such as colon and colorectal cancers, but it’s important to keep in mind that these correlations don’t indicate cause and effect; rather, they represent associations based on methods used for collecting data collection or studied type. Furthermore, other factors may play a part such as lifestyle choices, genetic makeup or age could also play a part in these results.