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Sleep-age for long-term health predictions

September 7, 2022
Sleep-age for long-term health predictions

Stanford scientists have developed another important indicator that can be used for long-term predictions of people’s health and likely mortality. The researchers were able to fix how sleep indicators – its quantity, the duration of individual phases and the nature of dreams – can affect a person’s age and health.

Sleep age is the estimated age of a person and correlates with their overall health. If you take the sleep characteristics of several people belonging to the 55-56 age group and analyze them, you can see the big picture of what sleep is like at this age. Scientists have correlated not only the age of a person with the quality of sleep, but also health indicators, in particular, the state of blood, blood vessels, the respiratory system and other important elements.

E. Mignot, a specialist in the nature of sleep, together with his colleagues analyzed more than 12 thousand studies, each of which studied the sleep of an individual in terms of limb movement during sleep, chin, respiratory rate and heartbeat. The aim of this study was to develop a separate system by which a person’s age can be determined from the nature of sleep, using mechanisms based on artificial intelligence. In addition, the machine, using the received measures of sleep, could determine the variations that are most closely associated with mortality.

The nature and nature of sleep of people of different ages is different. Changes in sleep quality are among the first and most common signs of declining general health and aging. However, scientists say that these indicators are only alarming signals that we are able to convert into normal and stabilize them.

Mignot’s research has not yet appeared in Digital Medicine. Among other things, he emphasizes the importance of sleep for health and how its nature affects us.

Why is it necessary to study sleep in relation to our age?

During sleep, we do not succumb to the stimuli of the outside world. Our brain works according to an automatically compiled program, along with this, the frequency of breathing and contraction of the heart muscle changes. Significant changes may be the first signs of deterioration in health. Since we spend about a third of our lives in sleep, this is one of the most important components of our overall well-being.

In almost any disorder that affects our body, sleep patterns are disturbed in the first place. Studies show that about five years before patients were diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, they had some specific sleep disorders: loud screams in their sleep, sudden movements, violent blows to the wall, and so on.

The main conclusion that scientists have made is that sleep fragmentation – a phenomenon in which a person wakes up several times during the night for more than a minute and then does not remember it – is a frequent and serious sign of mortality. The connection is obvious, however, its nature is still incomprehensible. In the future, it is planned to pay special attention to the issue of fragmentation and its relationship with the frequency of near death.

Of course, one should always take into account natural variation, that is, if sleep indicators are not particularly good, this does not mean that a person will actually die in the near future. But, for our part, we can do a lot to improve our own sleep and provide ourselves with a good rest. First of all, you should make it a rule to go to bed and get up at about the same time. The second is avoiding caffeine, alcohol, and heavy meals a few hours before bedtime. Third – ensuring proper conditions, in particular, the absence of sound and light stimuli.

Scientists plan to continue research and use the data they have already obtained to improve the prediction of the development of diseases before they enter their terminal stage. Researchers are already working with more than 250,000 sleep histories in order to get the most reliable data. Imagine that soon we will be able to reduce the risk of, for example, a heart attack, based only on the nature of human sleep. And scientists say it’s entirely possible.

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