As you may already know, sleep is vital for the body because it enables it to rest and restore for the upcoming day. While we sleep, millions of other processes happen in our body, i.e. sleep helps the brain memorize things and the cells to regenerate and repair damaged tissues. With this in mind, when a person doesn’t sleep enough, these important processes are impeded and prolonged sleep deprivation can lead to serious health complications.
Lack of Sleep Is Very Dangerous
According to researchers, chronic lack of sleep can be detrimental for the body and it can cause life-threatening conditions such as diabetes, cancer, and heart problems. The following 6 diseases are most commonly-associated with sleep deprivation:
Obesity and diabetes
Researchers examined 19 men with different sleeping patterns and discovered that those who slept for 4 hours over 3 nights had a higher level of fatty acid in their blood between 4am and 9am and this was 15-30% higher than those who slept for 8.5 hours every night. What’s more, they found that the increase in the fatty acid levels increased the insulin resistance and led to a condition known as pre-diabetes.
A 2013 study done at Johns Hopkins University showed that lack of sleep can cause Alzheimer’s and also speed its progression. The 70 adults between the ages of 53 and 91 who participated in the study and had poor sleep every night experienced a higher amount of beta-amyloid deposition in their brains. This compound is a definitive marker of Alzheimer’s.
According to a study with 657 Russian men between the ages of 25 and 64 which lasted for 14 years, 2/3 of those who had a heart attack, also suffered from a sleep disorder.
According to a study done in 2013, there was an increased incidence and severity of prostate cancer in patients who had sleep problems.
Scientists from the Massachusetts General Hospital claim that proper sleep is needed to curb inflammatory responses within the digestive system. The study which they conducted found that the risk of ulcerative colitis became higher as the hours of sleep per night reduced to 6 hours or less.
A 2014 research showed that there is a connection between incidence of suicide in adults and poor sleep. Researchers from the Stanford University of Medicine spent 10 years in analyzing 420 participants from middle to late adulthood. 20 of them who suffered from poor sleep committed suicide. They found that irregular sleeping patterns increased the risk of suicide for 1.4 times.