Sleep Well, Live Longer
Get quality sleep and minimize exhaustion for a longer, better life. People vary greatly in the amount of sleep they need, but everyone will live longer if the sleep they get is high quality.

Recent sleep research looks at a number of different relationships between sleep and lifespan. A study in Psychiatry and Clinical Neurosciences looked at a population in Oginawa, Japan that is known for its longevity and found that those with the healthiest sleep habits had the best overall lifestyle in terms of diet, physical activity, and mental health. Participants who had poorer quality sleep and did not nap, had greater rates of obesity, poorer mental health, worse diets, and were more sedentary. They also had fewer quality social relationships—remember #2?

A second study in the archives of General Psychiatry found that the optimal sleep duration for longevity is between 6.5 and 7.5 hours, but only if the person doesn’t suffer from insomnia. Sleep duration of longer than 8.5 hours or less than 4 hours put people at greater risk of mortality. The key is getting enough, and making it count.

Getting good sleep for a longer life span makes sense because poor sleep and chronic exhaustion are linked to higher levels of the stress hormone cortisol, which causes aging. Poor sleep is also linked to greater obesity rates, which puts you at risk of disease, poor health, and ultimately death.

Take Away Tip: Get better sleep and live longer by starting a grateful log in which you write down one thing you are thankful for before going to bed. Try taking magnesium—it is an essential sleep aid for the Poliquin readership. Minimize electoral exposure in your bedroom by unplugging devices such as Wi-Fi, and make your bedroom as dark as possible.