This Friday, March 17, is World Sleep Day, an annual event that aims to raise awareness of the importance of getting a good night’s sleep. This year’s campaign tagline is “Sleep is essential for health.” According to a study by the American College of Cardiology, up to 8 percent of deaths from any cause could be attributed to “poor sleep patterns”, while those with healthier sleep habits are less likely to die prematurely.
Data from Statista Consumer Insights shows that in the United States, 39 percent of respondents said they had suffered from a sleep disorder (problems falling asleep or staying asleep, insomnia, etc.) in the 12 months prior to the survey. Italians were among the worst sleepers in the survey at 48 percent reporting a sleep disorder, while India registered a higher share of good sleepers, with only 26 percent suffering from poor sleep.
For many older adults, a good night’s rest is elusive. The implications of chronically poor sleep can be far-reaching and include a decline in cognitive functioning and detrimental effects on health and general well-being. Fortunately, relief may be in sight.
A new study led by investigators at the Stanford University School of Medicine shows that neurons in the lateral hypothalamus, a brain region, play a pivotal role in sleep loss in old mice. More specifically, the arousal-promoting hypocretin neurons become hyperexcitable, driving sleep interruptions.
Luis de Lecea, PhD, is a professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Stanford Medicine. He is the study’s senior author and hopes the finding could pave the way to new drug treatments for age-related sleep problems in humans.
Shi-Bin Li, PhD, is an instructor in the Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences department at Stanford Medicine. He is also a basic life research scientist in the de Lecea lab, and is the lead author of the study.
Did you know that not getting enough zzz’s can actually make you hungrier? According to sleep scientist Matt Walker, the relationship between what you eat and your sleep is a two-way street. Here’s why understanding it can help you improve your overall health.
Sleep — we spend one-third of our lives doing it, but what exactly do we get out of it? And how can we do it better? In this TED series, sleep scientist Matt Walker uncovers the facts and secrets behind our nightly slumber. (Made possible with the support of Oura) Check out more episodes on TED.com: https://go.ted.com/sleepingwithscience
Swirski acknowledged that “there is no question” that genetics play a role in cardiovascular health, but in the last several years, four risk factors — stress, sleep interruption or fragmentation, diet, and sedentary lifestyle — have been clearly identified as contributing to atherosclerosis, commonly referred to as hardening of the arteries, which can lead to a variety of complications, including death.