New York: Older adults who have trouble sleeping, could benefit from participating in social activities, in particular attending religious events, suggests a new study.
The findings suggest that as sleep is one of the most important factors for well-being, engaging in social activities could be key to health ageing.
“Social connectedness is a key component for health and well-being for older adults,” said one of the researchers Jen-Hao Chen, assistant professor at University of Missouri in the US.
“Close connections to, and participation in, social groups provides a sense of belonging and can be essential for healthy aging,” Chen noted.
The study was published in the Journal of Social Science and Medicine.
To study the relationship between sleep and social participation for older adults, Chen analysed two waves of data collected over a five year period from the National Social Life, Health and Aging Project.
He looked at three aspects of social participation — volunteering, attending religious services and being part of organised group activities.
Chen then compared the data to sleep outcomes measured by actigraphy – wearable wrist sleep trackers.
Results showed that older adults with greater levels of social participation were getting better sleep.
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