How 4 types of sleeping patterns may impact long-term health

Evan Walker
Evan Walker TheMediTary.Com |
A woman sleeping on her hand folded behind her head with the sun shining on her faceShare on Pinterest
Research finds that sleeping habits can affect health differently in the long term. Studio Firma/Stocksy
  • Getting enough sleep is vital for a person’s overall health.
  • Researchers from Pennsylvania State University say there are four different sleep patterns that people follow that can help predict a person’s long-term health.
  • They found that insomnia sleepers were associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and depression over a 10-year period.

Everyone knows that getting enough sleep every night is an important part of a person’s overall health.

Past studies show that lack of sleep can increase a person’s risk for several health conditions including cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, obesity, depression, Alzheimer’s disease, and cancer.

While everyone needs sleep, that doesn’t mean that everyone sleeps the same. In fact, researchers from Pennsylvania State University (Penn State) say there are four different sleep patterns that people follow, and these patterns can help predict a person’s long-term health.

The study was recently published in the journal Psychosomatic Medicine.

Through the study’s findings, scientists discovered that those classified as insomnia sleepers had a significantly higher likelihood of developing chronic health conditions, including cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and depression, over the 10 years.

“It’s important to note that the identification of the insomnia sleeper phenotype was based on self-reported sleep characteristics rather than clinical diagnosis,” Dr. Lee said. “However, these characteristics closely align with clinical insomnia symptoms, including short sleep duration, high daytime tiredness, and prolonged sleep onset.”

Dr. Lee said this has several implications.

“Firstly, individuals experiencing these symptoms should consult a healthcare professional for appropriate evaluation and treatment. Secondly, our findings revealed that being an insomnia sleeper at any point over the 10-year period significantly increased the likelihood of developing multiple chronic health conditions, with up to an 81% increase observed,” she detailed.

“Thirdly, insomnia sleepers exhibited a reduced likelihood of transitioning to other sleep patterns over the decade, suggesting a persistent challenge in returning to optimal sleep,” Dr. Lee continued.

“Lastly, the study identified associations between insomnia sleeper patterns and socioeconomic factors such as lower education levels and unemployment,” she added.

Share this Article