Are you a night owl? As you get older, that habit may put you at a greater risk for health problems such as obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, strokes or mental distress.
A recent study of 1,600 people in South Korea revealed that those who stayed up late and had lack of sleep faced a higher risk of developing problems like diabetes or reduced muscle mass than those who went to bed earlier. The National Sleep Foundation recommends that adults aged 65 or older get seven to eight hours sleep per night for optimal health.
Sleep affects almost every tissue in our bodies, including:
- Growth and stress hormones
- The immune system
- Blood pressure; and
- Cardiovascular health.
Quality of sleep is more important than the number of hours. For quality sleep, opt for an earlier bedtime, avoid late night stimulation (like watching television while in bed) and block all as much light from your bedroom as possible.