Short sleep and insomnia are associated with accelerated epigenetic age.

TitleShort sleep and insomnia are associated with accelerated epigenetic age.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of PublicationForthcoming
AuthorsKusters, CDJ, Klopack, ET, Crimmins, EM, Seeman, TE, Cole, S, Carroll, JE
JournalPsychosom Med
ISSN Number1534-7796
KeywordsEpigenetic Age, insomnia, short sleep

OBJECTIVE: Short sleep and insomnia are each associated with greater risk for age-related disease, which suggests that insufficient sleep may accelerate biological aging. We examine whether short sleep and insomnia alone or together relate to epigenetic age among older adults.


p>METHODS: A total of 3,795 men (46.3%) and women aged 56-100 years from the Health and Retirement Study were included. Insomnia was defined as reporting at least one insomnia symptom (difficulty falling asleep, waking up at night, or waking up too early in the morning) and feeling unrested when waking up most of the time. Those reporting <6 hours of bedtime were categorized as short sleepers. Three second- or third-generation epigenetic age acceleration clocks were derived from the 2016 HRS Venous Blood Study. The linear regression analysis was adjusted for age, sex, race/ethnicity, education, and obesity status.

RESULTS: Insomnia and short sleep were associated with an 0.49 (95%CI:0.03-0.94; P:0.04) and 1.29 (95%CI:0.52-2.07; P:0.002) years acceleration of GrimAge, respectively, as well as a faster pace of aging (DunedinPACE; 0.018 (95%CI:0.004-0.033; P:0.02); 0.022(95%CI:-0.004-0.048; P:0.11)). Compared to healthy sleepers, individuals with the combination of short sleep and insomnia had an accelerated GrimAge (0.97 years; 95%CI:0.07-1.87; P:0.04) and a greater DunedinPACE (0.032; 95%CI:0.003-0.060; P:0.04).

CONCLUSION: Our findings indicate short sleep, insomnia, and the combination of the two, are linked to epigenetic age acceleration, suggesting that these individuals have an older biological age that may contribute to risk for comorbidity and mortality.

Citation Key13449
PubMed ID37594243