Sleep is more important than you may think. Getting enough sleep each and every night is a crucial part of your overall health and wellbeing. Below we share what experts say about lack of sleep; how it can increase the risk of each of the following:
- Diabetes. Research published in the medical journal Lancet suggests chronic sleep deprivation can affect the body’s ability to control blood glucose levels, increasing the risk of diabetes.
- Depression. Sleep disorders including insomnia, are now believed to contribute to depression.
- Lowered immunity. Lack of sleep can make us more infection-prone. In a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, when researchers gave the flu vaccine to sleep-deprived students their immune systems produced only half the normal number of antibodies to the vaccine.
- High blood pressure. Research by Rosansky and colleagues suggest that just one night of inadequate sleep in those with high blood pressure could lead to raised blood pressure the next day. This may help explain the link between poor sleep and heart disease or stroke.
- Heart disease. A US study of over 71,000 women published in the Archives of Internal Medicine found that too little (seven hours or less) or too much sleep (more than nine hours) appeared to raise the risk of heart disease.
- Accident and injury. Research by the Australian Transport Safety Bureau found that one in six fatal car accidents involved driver fatigue. The 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill, the 1986 Challenger space shuttle disaster and the Chernobyl nuclear accident, also in 1986, have all been attributed to human error where sleep-deprivation played a role. Being awake for just 17 hours can lead to a decrease in performance equivalent to a blood alcohol level of 0.05 percent.
Sleep Well, Sleep Healthy!