Link Between Sleep and Social Participation May Be Key to Healthy Aging

Posted in MU School of Health Professions

Sleep may be one of the most important factors for well-being; yet, according to the CDC, one in three adults does not get enough. Lack of sleep can lead to potential cognitive declines, chronic diseases and death. Now, research from the University of Missouri finds that older adults who have trouble sleeping, could benefit from participating in social activities, in particular attending religious events. “Social connectedness is a key component for health and well-being for older adults,” said Jen-Hao Chen, assistant professor of health sciencesat the MU School of Health Professions and the Truman School of Public Affairs. “Close connections to, and participation in, social groups provides a sense of belonging and can be essential for healthy aging.” Yet despite past attention to the link between social participation and many different health outcomes, little research has been dedicated to linking social participation and another critical health outcome for older adults—sleep. To...

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