What is sleep age? Study reveals it could tell you a lot about your future health

Your daily habits have a huge impact on your body, mind, and its health—including sleep.

Sleep health die
© Vlada Karpovich
Sleep health die

There's a lot that contributes to your overall health, whether physical or mental. The food you put into your body, your emotions, and also how you sleep at night.

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Sleep in particular is very very important for your body for getting enough rest is essential if you want to have good levels of energy and stay healthy.

In fact a review of series of studies published in Digital Medicine in 2022 showed that having repetitive short interruptions when you sleep is the ‘strongest predictor of mortality’.

According to The Independent, with the help of artificial intelligence, the researchers developed a system that identifies variations in sleep linked to mortality.

What is sleep age?

Scientists, including Stanford University’s sleep expert Emmanuel Mignot sleep, examined 12,000 studies that investigate certain phenomena during sleep such as chin and leg movement, breathing and heartbeat with a goal to determine one’s sleep age.

According to the team, sleep age is an estimated age of a person based on the characteristics of sleep that are linked to their health. Dr Mignot told the Scope:

It's well known that, in pretty much any disorder, sleep is one of the first things that is disturbed. For example, about five or 10 years before other symptoms appear in Parkinson's disease patients, a specific sleep disturbance occurs during which the patient violently acts out dreams, shouts or punches into a wall.

People sleep differently at different ages, with changes in sleep quality being one of the first and most well-documented signs of aging and poor health, the Stanford Medicine blog said.

Older sleep age a sign of a health problem

The researchers used the difference between people’s chronological age and their sleep age to predict their mortality based on the assumption that older sleep age is an indicator of a health problem.

In the study published in Digital Medicine, the researchers concluded that higher sleep age is a marker of future health. However, Dr Mignot said it remains unclear how sleep patterns are linked to mortality:

Though we see a link in the data, how it contributes to mortality is unknown. This is different from a person realizing they were waking up, which happens during sleep disorders such as insomnia.

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Sources used:

The Independant: How you sleep could be ‘strongest predictor’ of when you will die, study says

Scope: Scientists use ‘sleep age’ to infer longterm health

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