Routine, Sleep and Premature Death

Sleep­ing for less that six hours a night is cor­rel­ated strongly with an increased risk of pre­ma­ture death over a 25-year peri­od (a 12% increase in the like­li­hood of your pre­ma­ture death, to be exact).

That’s the con­clu­sion from an extens­ive report (study­ing 1.5 mil­lion people) con­vin­cingly show­ing the link between qual­ity sleep and one’s health/well-being.

The study looked at the rela­tion­ship between sleep and mor­tal­ity by review­ing earli­er stud­ies from the UK, US and European and East Asi­an coun­tries.

Pre­ma­ture death from all causes was linked to get­ting either too little or too much sleep out­side of the “ideal” six to eight hours per night.

But while a lack of sleep may be a dir­ect cause of ill health, ulti­mately lead­ing to an earli­er death, too much sleep may merely be a mark­er of ill health already.

That last bit’s import­ant (cor­rel­a­tion not caus­a­tion), with one research­er call­ing sleep the “lit­mus paper to phys­ic­al and men­tal health”.

Anoth­er report in the same journ­al (Sleep) demon­strated the import­ance of a stable daily routine in get­ting a good night’s sleep (although thus far it has only been shown in the eld­erly):

Increased sta­bil­ity in daily routine […] pre­dicted short­er sleep latency, high­er sleep effi­ciency and improved sleep qual­ity. […] Main­ten­ance of daily routines is asso­ci­ated with a reduced rate of insom­nia in the eld­erly.

So… stop your happy-go-lucky, spur-of-the-moment, dev­il-may-care life­style; live to a timetable; live longer?