A recent study found that diet could affect the
relationship between sleep and mortality, especially in elderly men. The
findings of the study were published in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition.
The participants of the study were men and women
equal or over the age of 65 years enrolled in the Nutrition and Health Survey in
Taiwan (NAHSIT) for elders during 1999-2000. The sleep
was assessed based on a questionnaire given to the patient.
Deaths were recorded till the end of 2008.
The study found that the risk of
in elderly men was less in those who slept well or fairly as
compared to those who slept poorly. The study also found that if the food
intake in elderly men is diverse enough, the effect of poor sleep on mortality
could be eliminated.
Women who slept poorly consumed lower quantities of
and vitamin B6
as compared to those
who slept well. In women, the mortality was more associated by the levels of
the vitamin B6 in the blood as compared to poor sleep. Thus, adequate vitamin
B6 in the diet may be more important in reducing mortality of elderly women.
Women in the study were more likely to sleep poorly as compared to men.
One of the researchers involved in the study,
Emeritus Professor Mark Wahlqvist explained the reason for the possible effect
of poor sleep on increasing mortality. According to him, poor sleep has been
associated with conditions like obesity
. In addition, it also caused poor appetite, and can reduce
the intake of nutritious foods
The bottom line of the study can be put as - eat well and sleep
for a long life!