Sleep Quality Linked to Longer Life

Researchers say sleep quality may be linked to a longer life. A new study shows that 65 percent of 2,800 people who were 100 years of age and older reported good or very good sleep quality.

The study also found that health problems seemed to be associated with poor sleep quality. “Age and health conditions are the two most important factors associated with self-reported sleep quality and duration,” said principal investigator and lead author of the study Danan Gu, PhD, faculty of the Nohad A. Toulan School of Urban Studies and Planning at Portland State University in Oregon.

The oldest adults studied, age 100 or over, were 70 percent more likely to report good sleep quality compared to younger adults, age 65 to 79. Forty six percent of study participants who reported not sleeping well also rated their health as poor.

For older adults who sleep well, the average duration was 7.5 hours a night. The study comes from the Chinese Longitudinal Healthy Longevity Survey. China has the largest elderly population in the world according to the study authors.

Anxiety, economic status, and family health were all found to play a role in quality of sleep. The authors say a variety of factors relate to sleeping well.

Dr. Gu says, “The majority of healthy elders could experience satisfactory sleep quality. Sleep problems at oldest-old ages likely arise from a variety of physiological and psychosocial factors rather than aging per se.”

The researchers say sleep quality definitely leads to a longer life, but it is likely there is a link. Adults in the study age 100 and older were found to experience the best quality sleep, compared to younger adults, even after adjusting for health related conditions.

American Academy of Sleep Medicine