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Sleep deprivation in new mothers has been linked to accelerated ageing

Study reveals that mothers who get extra sleep will look younger…Read more…

Friday, 6th August 2021

UCLA Research published this research in the journal Sleep Health.

Scientists studied 33 mothers during pregnancy and the first year after the baby was born, and analyzed DNA in women's blood samples to determine their "biological age", which may be different from the actual age. They found that a year after giving birth, mothers who slept less than seven hours a night at six months were three to seven years older than mothers who slept seven hours or more.

The telomeres in the white blood cells of mothers who sleep for less than 7 hours are also shorter. These small DNA fragments at the ends of the chromosomes act as protective caps, just like the plastic tips at the ends of shoelaces. Shortened telomeres are associated with increased risk of cancer, cardiovascular and other diseases, and premature death.

"The first few months of postpartum sleep deprivation may have a lasting effect on physical health," said Judith Carroll, the lead author of the study and the George F. Solomon Professor of Psychobiology at UCLA. "We have learned from a large number of studies that less than 7 hours of sleep per night is harmful to health and increases the risk of age-related diseases." The researchers reported that although participants' night sleep ranged from 5 hours to 9 hours , But more than half of people sleep less than 7 hours in the six months and one year postpartum.

"We found that for every extra hour of sleep, the mother's biological age decreases," said Carol, a researcher at the Cousins ??Center for Psycho-neuroimmunology at the University of California, Los Angeles, Jane and Terry Semel Institute of Neuroscience and Human Behaviour. . "I and many other sleep scientists agree that sleep health is as important to overall health as diet and exercise."

Carroll urges new mothers to take advantage of opportunities to sleep longer, such as taking a nap during the day while the baby is asleep, and receiving help from family and friends. And when possible, seek help from your partner.

The co-authors of the new study include students from the Department of Psychology, Psychiatry and Biology at the University of California, Los Angeles.

Researchers in the Department of Behavioral Sciences, the Department of Human Genetics and Biostatistics, and the Department of Psychology at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs. Funding sources for the research include the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development and the National Institute on Aging, both of which are affiliated with the National Institutes of Health.

The News Talkie Bureau



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