Social engagement linked to sleep

senior woman sleepingSleep is critical to maintaining cognitive function, preventing chronic disease and reducing the risk of mortality. Now, a new study has found that sleep and social engagement are linked.

A paper published this year and reported on in looked at volunteer work, attendance at church and attendance at meetings of organized groups and found that those older adults who are most socially engaged — particularly those who attend church — sleep better.

Specifically, they had lower levels of wake after sleep onset, fewer bouts of wakefulness and less sleep fragmentation.

The researchers, however, said they arenโ€™t sure if being involved in social activities causes better sleep. They said it may be the other way around in that it is possible that those who sleep better are as a result more likely to join organizations and engage more with others.

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