Getting a good night's sleep is important and insufficient sleep has been linked to poor health in many studies.
Analysing data collected from wearable trackers, researchers from the SingHealth Duke-NUS Institute of Precision Medicine (PRISM) and the National Heart Centre Singapore (NHCS) recently demonstrated that chronic sleep deprivation is associated with increased cardiovascular disease risk markers and accelerated biological aging.
In addition to sleep data, the team collected detailed lifestyle information and data for cardiovascular disease risk factors such as blood pressure, cholesterol, blood glucose.
Telomeres are compound structures of DNA at the end of the chromosomes in human cells that decline in length as one ages.
As a marker of cellular age, telomeres are thought to represent one's biological age, as opposed to chronological age.
The team found that the seven per cent of volunteers who slept less than five hours a night were twice as likely to have shortened telomeres compared to those who exceeded the recommended sleep amount of seven hours.