Researchers created a system employing machine learning to forecast a person’s “sleep age.”
Their objective was to create a system that can determine a person’s sleep age and pinpoint the sleep patterns that are most closely associated with mortality.
Why is sleep age that significant?
Before the significance of sleep age, we need to learn about what sleep age is. Sleep age roughly means a projected age that correlates to a person’s health based on their sleep quality.
More to explain if needed, while we sleep, not only does our brain undergo an automatic program, but also our heart rate and breathing change. Changes in these parameters might serve as early warning signs of a health problem, the study underlines.
Apart from these, there are simple things we can do to improve our sleep age. For instance, getting the necessary sunlight during the day, exercising regularly but not too close to bedtime, not drinking alcohol and caffeine around bedtime, and avoiding heavy nighttime meals all contribute to healthy sleep.
The strongest predictor of mortality
“Our main finding was that sleep fragmentation — when people wake up multiple times throughout the night for less than a minute without remembering it — was the strongest predictor of mortality,” says Emmanuel Mignot.
“Though we see a link in the data, how it contributes to mortality is unknown. This is different from a person realizing they were waking up, which happens during sleep disorders such as insomnia.”
What will be the next step?
Emmanuel Mignot and his team are currently working with scientists from Harvard University. Studies on 250.000 people will help to collect more data.