Fatal illness danger in too little sleep, research finds

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It also put people at a ­ 40 percent higher risk of developing at least two serious illnesses such ­as heart disease, cancer ­and diabetes. Lead author Dr Severine Sabia, of University College London, said: “As people get older, their sleep habits and sleep structure change.

“It is recommended to sleep for seven to eight hours a night, as durations below this have been associated with chronic diseases. Our findings show short sleep is associated with multimorbidity.

“It is important to promote good sleep hygiene, such as making sure the bedroom is quiet, dark and at a comfortable temperature.”

The researchers studied 7,864 over-50s for 25 years, tracking sleep patterns and health issues. At 60, those who slept five hours or less had a 25 percent higher risk of early death, it was said.

The findings are in the journal Plos Medicine.

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