Poor sleep leads to poorer lifestyle habits. That was the sobering conclusion from a new study that sought to tease out the cause and effect relationship between sleep and lifestyle choices in a scientifically rigorous manner. For this first-of-its-kind evaluation, a group of sleep researchers collaboratively followed and evaluated the sleep and lifestyle habits of over 35,000 Finnish adults repeatedly over several years. In study subjects who maintained healthy sleep patterns, their lifestyle choices tended to be stable or even improve. In contrast, study subjects who developed poorer sleeping habits subsequently experienced significant deterioration in their lifestyle practices. Meaning, poor sleep appeared to make it more challenging to live a healthy lifestyle and vice-a-versa. In terms of the specific adverse health influences noted in this study, the onset of poor sleep was tied to a higher future risk of alcohol abuse, lack of exercise, and becoming obese. (International Journal of Epidemiology, 2015; DOI: 10.1093/ije/dyv063)
Consider your sleep sacred! We now have an overwhelming amount data to conclusively qualify sleep as one of the fundamental pillars of health and vitality. If you fail to get adequate quality sleep, particularly over time, your health is sure to suffer. Click here to get the lowdown on all the things you can do to improve your sleep.