Increased sleep fragmentation is the “best predictor of mortality”, according to a new review of studies.
The research, recently published in the journal Digital medicineassessed 12,000 studies examining characteristics of individuals while they sleep, including chin and leg movements, breathing and heartbeat.
Scientists, including Emmanuel Mignot of Stanford University, have developed a system using machine learning to predict a person’s “sleep age” and identify sleep variations most closely linked to mortality.
Sleep age, they say, is an estimate of a person’s age based on the quality of their sleep which is related to their health.
Previous research has shown that sleep is one of the first things that gets disrupted in many disorders.
The scientists cited the example of patients with Parkinson’s disease and said that in most cases, they violently carry out their dreams about five to ten years before other symptoms appear.
Assessing different characteristics of individuals’ sleep, the new study found that sleep fragmentation, when people briefly wake up multiple times during the night without remembering, was the “strongest predictor” of mortality.
Researchers say this type of sleep disturbance is different from when a person realizes they are awake, as is reported in sleep disorders like insomnia and sleep apnea.
However, scientists say it is unclear how sleep fragmentation relates to the risk of death.
“Determining why sleep fragmentation is so detrimental to health is something we plan to investigate in the future,” Dr. Mignot said in a statement.
In the research, scientists determined what the average sleep looks like at a given age.
They then used a machine learning system to assess patterns in the individuals’ data across the 12,000 studies and used it to predict their sleep age.
Using the difference between people’s chronological age and their sleeping age, the researchers then predicted their mortality based on the assumption that older sleeping age is an indicator of a health problem.
A higher sleep age was primarily reflected in ‘increased sleep fragmentation’, suggesting this is a marker of future health, the scientists concluded in the study.
. way which you sleep could be best predictor moment your dead according to a study