Poor sleep may mean increased stress and inflammation

Mar 09, 2012

Poor sleep could mean increased stress.

As people get older, they have to take better care of their health. This should help their general well-being, as well as save money on life insurance policies. The University of Rochester Medical Center said one key to this could be better sleep, as older adults who sleep poorly end up reacting to stress with increased inflammation.

“This study offers more evidence that better sleep not only can improve overall well-being but also may help prevent poor physiological and psychological outcomes associated with inflammation,” said Kathi Heffner, assistant professor of psychiatry at the medical center. “Our study suggests that, for healthy people, it all comes down to sleep and what poor sleep may be doing to our physiological stress response, our fight or flight response."

The study, published in the American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry, said participants in the study completed a self-report of sleep quality, perceived stress, loneliness and medication use. About 27 percent of the study were qualified as poor sleepers. The study said this didn't alter their ability to deal with stress, just how the body reacted to that stress.

Harvard Health Publications said better sleep can help mood, cardiovascular health and keep immune systems up, all of which are positive for health and keeping a life insurance policy.

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