How to live longer: The ‘crucial’ lifestyle habit that may increase your lifespan

Abbey Clancy reveals that children sleep in bed with her

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Though some life longevity factors may be beyond your control, many healthy habits may lead you to old age. One key tip surrounds the way in which you sleep. Sleeping can be a challenge for some people, who might be distracted by the stresses of their daily lives, or unable to fall asleep even when they are feeling tired.

Sleep is essential for physical and mental well-being, and can thereby impact human longevity.

One study, published in the National Library of Medicine, notes: “Human longevity is associated with a regular sleep pattern.”

It concludes that “the existence of strictly regular sleep patterns among oldest old individuals” was key to reaching old ages.

“Therefore, the practice of sleep medicine as a tool to contribute to the healthy ageing population is essential,” it adds.

Indeed, Healthline explains that developing a sleep routine that includes seven to eight hours of sleep each night may help you live longer.

It notes that both under and over sleeping can have a negative consequence: “Sleeping less than five to seven hours per night is linked to a 12 percent greater risk of early death, while sleeping more than eight to nine hours per night could also decrease your lifespan by up to 38 percent.”

The site suggests that too little sleep may also promote inflammation and increase your risk of diabetes, heart disease, and obesity, while excessive sleep could be linked to depression, low physical activity, and undiagnosed health conditions.

All of those factors can reduce your life expectancy.

It is generally believed that most adults need between six and nine hours of sleep every night.

“By working out what time you need to wake up, you can set a regular bedtime schedule,” notes the NHS.

It is also important to try and wake up at the same time every day.

“While it may seem like a good idea to try to catch up on sleep after a bad night, doing so on a regular basis can also disrupt your sleep routine,” explains the NHS.

Although short naps will generally not affect night-time sleep quality for most people, long and frequent ones can.

Indeed, “napping at the wrong time of day or for too long can backfire,” according to the Mayo Clinic.

It can lead to sleep inertia, where a person might feel disoriented after waking up from a nap.

Moreover, “if you experience insomnia or poor sleep quality at night, napping might worsen these problems,” the site adds.

Many people will sometimes find it hard to fall asleep or wake up in the night. For most, sleep problems tend to sort themselves out within about a month, according to the NHS.

People with insomnia will regularly find it hard to go to sleep, can wake up several times during the night and lie awake at night.

They might also find it difficult to concentrate during the day because they are tired, or wake up early and find they cannot go back to sleep.

If you have insomnia for less than three months, it is called short-term insomnia. Insomnia that lasts three months or longer is called long-term insomnia.

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