The Week in Sleep News: February 24, 2023

While humans don't hibernate, new research shows that they do spend more time in REM sleep during the winter.

Two people sitting up in bed holding newspapers. Text reads: Sleep News Week of February 24, 2023

This week in sleep news…

Getting good sleep might help you live longer

New research from the American College of Cardiology suggests that healthy sleep habits could add up to five years to your life. Researchers analyzed data from 172,321 U.S. adults who responded to a CDC annual survey, which measures the health of the U.S. population and includes questions about sleep and sleep habits. Scientists looked at five factors of quality sleep: sleep duration, difficulty falling asleep, difficulty staying asleep, use of sleep medication, and feeling well-rested after sleeping.

They found that people with better sleep habits were 30% less likely to die for any reason, 21% less likely to die from cardiovascular disease, 19% less likely to die from cancer, and 40% less likely to die of causes other than heart disease or cancer. Men who reported having all five factors saw a life expectancy increase of 4.7 years, while women saw a 2.4-year increase.

Humans need more sleep in the winter

While we know that people tend to sleep more in the winter, new research urges people to change their sleep habits for the winter. The study, published in Frontiers in Neuroscience, shows that even in an urban population rife with disrupted sleep, humans experience longer REM sleep in winter than summer and less deep sleep in autumn. Data from the study showed that REM sleep was 30 minutes longer in the winter compared to other seasons. While a larger-scale study needs to be done to confirm a seasonal pattern, scientists hope this urges society to be more accepting of adjusting sleep habits to the season.

In more fun sleep news…

From the same company that gives us Honey Bunches of Oats, Pebbles, and Honeycomb comes a cereal that hopes to make you drift off to dreamland. The cereal, Sweet Dreams, aims to help people to sleep by providing a nutrient-dense snack before bed that contains soothing ingredients like lavender and chamomile, as well as vitamins and minerals that support melatonin production, including zinc, folic acid, and B vitamins. Right now, Sweet Dreams is available in the nocturnally named flavors Blueberry Midnight and Honey Moonglow.

Sweet Dreams Cereal Box with a sleeping woman who's purple hair extends up the box.
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