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Retirement boosts sleep quality - study


A financially comfortable retirement has been revealed as one of the keys to a good night’s sleep, according to the results of a large-scale study published in the science journal Sleep this week. The study involved almost 15,000 employees from the French utility company EDF who retired between 1990 and 2006, and compared their sleeping patterns while working to when retired. The results found that rates of sleep disturbance among the volunteers fell from 24.2% in the last year prior to retirement to 17.8% in the first year of retirement.

The participants who experienced the biggest reduction in sleep disturbance during retirement were those who had suffered mental ‘fatigue’ in their working lives. Typically, men who worked in management level posts or night shifts were among those who enjoyed the most positive changes in the their sleep.

“We believe these findings are largely applicable in situations where financial incentives not to retire are relatively weak,” said Professor Jussi Vahtera from the University of Turku in Finland, who conducted the investigation. “In countries and positions where there is no proper pension level to guarantee financial security beyond working age, however, retirement may be followed by severe stress disturbing sleep even more than before retirement.”

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