Types of sleep may affect cholesterol levels

Dutch researchers have found a connection to sleep time and cholesterol levels, though they say they are not sure what their findings say about the relationship.

According to the study, people 65 years old and younger who spent more time in bed sleeping were found to have higher cholesterol levels, Reuters reports. However, people aged 70 years or older had lower cholesterol levels, possibly due to a more fragmented sleep which produced less sleep time.

Dr Julie F van den Berg, from Erasmus Medical Center, and her team studied approximately 768 men and women between the ages of 57 and 97 by comparing their sleep duration and total cholesterol levels, according to the article.

Types of sleep may affect cholesterol levels

For more accurate readings, the researchers used actigraphy to measure the sleep duration, which had the participants wear a wristwatch-like device to keep track of their movement. The participants wore the device for five to seven days and nights. None of the subjects used cholesterol-lowering medication.

With the findings, researchers speculated it was possible people who spend more time sleeping may be less active and have higher cholesterol levels, states Reuters. However the connection between fragmented sleep and low cholesterol was "difficult to explain."

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