Don’t snooze through this health warning.

A lack of sleep can have detrimental effects on your physical and mental health — new research has identified four major sleep patterns and determined how they affect a person’s long-term health.

A study published last month in Psychosomatic Medicine found that insomnia sleepers have a significantly higher likelihood of developing chronic health conditions.

Researchers at Penn State University analyzed data gathered from 3,700 participants, noting their sleep habits and chronic health conditions across two time points 10 years apart. 

The team identified four distinct sleep patterns: good sleepers, weekend catch-up sleepers, insomnia sleepers and nappers.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends adults tuck themselves in for at least seven hours a night, but it seems many Americans struggle to meet this important goal.

More than half of the study participants were identified as insomnia sleepers or nappers — both are suboptimal sleep patterns.

Those who suffered from insomnia over the 10-year period faced a much higher likelihood of developing cardiovascular disease, diabetes, depression and frailty.

Those who took frequent daytime naps had an increased risk for diabetes, cancer and frailty.

Researchers noted that those with less education and those facing unemployment were more likely to be insomnia sleepers, while older adults and retirees were more likely to be nappers.

While life conditions seemed to impact a person’s sleep habits, people were unlikely to change their sleep patterns over the course of the 10 years — especially insomnia sleepers and nappers.

“These results may suggest that it is very difficult to change our sleep habits because sleep health is embedded into our overall lifestyle. It may also suggest that people still don’t know about the importance of their sleep and about sleep health behaviors,” lead researcher Soomi Lee said in a statement.

“We need to make more efforts to educate the public about good sleep health,” Lee added. “There are sleep hygiene behaviors that people could do to improve their sleep, such as not using cell phones in bed, exercising regularly and avoiding caffeine in the late afternoon.”

2024 © Network Today. All Rights Reserved.