(ORDO NEWS) — There are many ways to estimate the length of your own life. The easiest way is to look back and estimate how long your parents, grandparents lived.
There are techniques that allow you to calculate the balance “in the box” based on the speed of walking at the age of 40 or more or the number of push-ups that you can do in 60 seconds. A simple logic works here – the better the physical condition, the stronger the health.
Well, it’s not a sin for the most romantic to periodically make a request: “Cuckoo, cuckoo, how long do I have left to live?” However, the practical use of all these methods for a particular individual is small (you are not interested in accuracy in a sample of a thousand cases) – too many unaccounted factors are left out.
Recently, scientists have developed a new criterion for predicting life expectancy: the prediction is based on the quality of sleep! A group of scientists at the Stanford University Medical Center proposed a new term – sleep age.
Why is sleep age important?
First, because we spend a third of our lives sleeping and it is an important component of our overall well-being. Secondly, sleep is a more objective indicator, since the body is completely disconnected from the outside world and functions in an automatic background mode.
And in this format, health disorders can be fixed at the earliest stages. Thirdly, sleep problems occur with a large number of diseases.
For example, in patients with Parkinson’s 5-10 years before the onset of the first symptoms, characteristic sleep disorders occur when the patient violently experiences dream plots, screams, waving his arms or hitting the wall with his fists. So, by studying dreams, you can succeed in early diagnosis.
Terrible on the face, sleepy inside…
The researchers measured a variety of data: heart rate and breathing, blood pressure, the duration of the slow and REM sleep phase (the latter is accompanied by increased brain activity), movement of the legs and chin, blood oxygen saturation, etc.
People sleep differently at every age. To understand what the standard sleep of a 50-year-old person looks like, it is enough to take several hundred people of this age to collect and average their sleep indicators.
But, it is quite possible that a 50-year-old man who sleeps through the night with a deep sleep, whose sleep phases harmoniously replace each other, demonstrates the performance of a 40-year-old or even a 30-year-old healthy man. In this case, his sleep age is 30 years, despite the 50 years in the passport.
The main sign of imminent death
“Changes in sleep quality are one of the first and clearest signs of aging and declining health,” said study lead author Professor Emmanuel Mignot. – We studied the sleep patterns of 12 thousand people and developed a system that determines the age of sleep.
In addition, artificial intelligence was taught to look for patterns associated with mortality. The strongest predictor of imminent death is sleep fragmentation.
This is when people wake up several times a night for a minute or more, but in the morning they don’t remember it at all (when you realize that you wake up, this doesn’t count, it’s just insomnia). Why this is associated with the risk of death, we will study in the future.
At the same time, scientists found that people whose sleep age turned out to be older than chronological age were indeed at risk of premature death. The researchers intend to continue using artificial intelligence to learn how to predict heart attacks, strokes or Alzheimer’s proximity based on sleep disorders.
Another important observation is that poor sleep age is far from a death sentence – it can be improved. This can be done through the traditional set of virtuous measures: streamline the lights out and get up, exercise, do not eat at night, give up alcohol, etc.
You need to understand a simple thing: even if your sleep age is older than the chronological age, this does not mean that you will die soon, – explains Emmanuel Mignot.
It’s like drinking or smoking. Both are definitely harmful to health. But when you see a 90-year-old gentleman sipping cognac and smoking a cigar, you realize there are many exceptions to the rule.
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