Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
The identification of biological markers that allow the early diagnosis, or even the prevention of age-related diseases, is an important goal that is being actively pursued in the research community. Sleep is one of the physiological processes that is most affected by aging, and there is a strong relationship between age-related sleep alterations and diseases. Changes in cellular senescence and the linked changes in telomere length might be potential markers of age-related sleep changes. In this review, we present some of the most recent evidence showing that telomere length has been associated with sleep loss and sleep disturbances in cross-sectional and case-control studies. We also present insights into the cellular senescence mechanisms relating to changes in telomere length, and we suggest that this field lacks basic and clinical research studies, especially long-term longitudinal studies, which may bring opportunities to sleep researchers to investigate this relationship in more depth.