Want to live longer? Get some sleep and stay active

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Getting plenty of sleep and staying physically active appear to be among the keys to a long life, according to a new study of Japanese adults aged 60 and over.

The study found that participants who slept less than five hours or more than 10 hours daily tended to have higher rates of death and dementia. compared with those whose daily sleep duration ranged from five to 6.9 hours.

“Given the beneficial effects of physical activity on risk of sleep disturbance, these findings indicate that not only maintenance of appropriate sleep duration, but also modification of lifestyle behaviors related to sleep may be an effective strategy for preventing dementia and premature death in elderly adults,” the authors wrote in the study, published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.

Among 1,517 adults who were followed for 10 years, 294 developed dementia and 282 died. Age- and sex-adjusted incidence rates of dementia and all-cause mortality were greater in those with daily sleep duration of less than 5.0 hours and 10.0 hours or more, compared with those with daily sleep duration of 5.0 to 6.9 hours.


Participants with short sleep duration who had high physical activity did not have a greater risk of dementia and death, however.

 

About the Author

Truman Lewis
Truman has been a bureau chief and correspondent in D.C., Los Angeles, Phoenix and elsewhere, reporting for radio, television, print and news services, for more than 30 years. Most recently, he has reported extensively on health and consumer issues for ConsumerAffairs.com and FairfaxNews.com.