Sleep And Health: Are You Getting Enough Rest?

First Posted: Jun 17, 2015 01:03 PM EDT

Inadequate rest can make it difficult to maintain a healthy lifestyle, according to recent findings published in the International Journal of Epidemiology.

Researchers at the University of Copenhagen found that as sleep lifestyle factors are so essential, it can dramatically affect just about every quality of our lives.

The study was conducted as part of an international collaboration between established researchers and epidemiologists from Denmark and Finland, involving over 35,000 adult Finns who participated in at least three consecutive waves of a large, longitudinal cohort study, according to Psych Central.

Findings revealed that maintaining a good night's sleep made it much easier to maintain a healthy lifestyle. For instance, researchers found that smokers who maintained a sleeping pattern characterized by normal sleep duration and undisturbed nights were less likely to still be smoking and more likely to quit smoking four yeas on when compared to those who either shortened their average sleep duration or who experienced an increase in sleep disturbances.

"This study shows that sleep affects our ability to maintain a healthy lifestyle, and when sleep deteriorates we are more likely to make unhealthy lifestyle changes," researcher Alice Jessie Clark, said in a news release.

Furthermore, similar patterns were also observed in regards to other adverse lifestyle changes.

"Better knowledge of the importance of sleep, not just for biological restitution, but also for making healthy lifestyle decisions, may help people make informed decisions about prioritizing how to spend the night -- catching up on work emails, surfing social media or going to bed and ensuring a good night's sleep," Clark concluded.

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