Unhealthy Sleep Behaviours May Increase the Risk of Shortened Healthspan

Pavankumar Kamat

May 12, 2021

A new prospective cohort study published in the journal  Sleep and Breathing suggests that certain unhealthy sleep behaviours are associated with a higher risk of shortened healthspan.

Researchers determined the associations between four sleep behaviours (insomnia/sleeplessness, napping, daytime sleepiness and difficulty getting up from bed) and the risk of terminated healthspan among 323,373 UK Biobank participants. Healthspan was defined on the basis of the eight health terminating events, namely, congestive heart failure, myocardial infarction, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, stroke, dementia, diabetes, cancer and death.

Unhealthy sleep behaviours associated with a significantly higher risk of terminated healthspan included "usually experience sleeplessness/insomnia" (HR, 1.05; P<.001), "usually nap" (HR, 1.22; P<.01), "excessive daytime sleepiness" (HR, 1.25; P<.001) and "difficult getting up from bed" (HR, 1.08; P<.001).

The population attributable risk percentage indicated that 7 per cent of healthspan termination was preventable if participants had a low-risk/healthy sleep behaviour versus a high-risk sleep behaviour.

The authors stated: "This evidence underscores sleep behaviour as a significant health determinant that warrants greater attention. Thus, sustainable sleep health programs and policy interventions are needed to augment sleep behaviours in the population, particularly at workplaces, which could contribute significantly to the extension of healthspan."

Sleep Breath. Published online May 6, 2021. Abstract


Sambou ML, Zhao X, Hong T, Naveed M, Sambou A, El Hafa F, Basnet TB, Dai J. Investigation of the relationships between sleep behaviors and risk of healthspan termination: a prospective cohort study based on 323,373 UK-Biobank participants. Sleep Breath. 2021 May 06 [Epub ahead of print]. doi: 10.1007/s11325-021-02394-0.  PMID: 33959859

This article originally appeared on Univadis, part of the Medscape Professional Network.


Comments on Medscape are moderated and should be professional in tone and on topic. You must declare any conflicts of interest related to your comments and responses. Please see our Commenting Guide for further information. We reserve the right to remove posts at our sole discretion.
Post as: