Many of us are fully aware we don’t get enough sleep at night. Between work, children, perhaps grandchildren, and simple daily stresses, many people struggle just to get several uninterrupted hours of quality sleep in a night. How much sleep do we actually need you ask? Well, the National Sleep Foundation recommends 7-9 hours per night for adults over 18 years of age. What we may not realize is that there are many serious health conditions directly associated with insufficient sleep. Here they are below:
1) Hypertension (High Blood Pressure)1) Hypertension (High Blood Pressure)
According to the Archives of Internal Medicine, insufficient sleep can increase your risk of hypertension by 20%. The NCBI (National Center for Biotechnology Information) reported several studies linking one night of severe sleep loss (3.6 hours of sleep) with a blood pressure spike in otherwise healthy young men.
2) DNA Disruption
A 2013 English study at the University of Surrey conducted research pinpointing the adverse effects of lack of sleep on our DNA. Significant disruptions and restrictions to healthy gene activity responsible for essential biological functions were noted. These included disruptions to circadian (day/night) rhythms, immune health, stress reactions, metabolism, and more.
3) Increased Risk of Diabetes
Studies show that a lack of sleep even over just a couple days can cause a significant decrease to our body’s sensitivity to insulin. This in turn can increase our chance of a diagnosis of type 2 diabetes. University of Chicago Medical Centre scientists monitored a group of healthy young adults with slow-wave sleep suppression and noted in their findings that these study subjects were unable to regulate their blood glucose levels efficiently, increasing their risk of diabetes.
4) Cardiovascular Health Issues
Just one night of even minor sleep deprivation (6 hours or less) can wreak havoc on your heart. Several published studies from the European Heart Journal concluded that just one night of sleeplessness can put your heart at risk for many pathologies, increasing one’s risk of cardiovascular disease by 48%. The same 2011 study containing 475,000 participants showed that your chance of death by coronary artery disease (CAD) almost double with continual sleep deprivation.
Published research from the NIH (National Institutes of Health) clearly outlines the direct correlation between lowered sleep duration and the prevalence of obesity and diabetes. Several epidemiological and laboratory studies have been able to link dysfunction in glucose metabolism and appetite regulation (both well-known causes of both diabetes and weight gain) with lack of quality sleep. Interestingly enough, a published study from Dietetics and American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that otherwise healthy females who slept less than 5 hours per night would then consume on average 329 more calories the following day. That morning donut craving could be linked to your lack of a good night’s rest!
6) Premature Skin Aging
We are all told to wear our sunscreen and take meticulous care of our skin. In fact, according to the Simmons National Consumer Survey, 1.35 million Americans spent over $500 on skin care products alone in 2017. A study commissioned by cosmetics giant Estée Lauder and conducted by the University Hospitals Case Medical Center proved that a full night’s sleep is vital to your skin health. The clinical trials outlined links between sleep quality and skin function and aging. Findings showed that study participants who slept poorly demonstrated reduced recovery from environmental stressors such as UV rays and free radicals. These people also showed accelerated signs of skin aging when compared to those getting a full night of sleep.
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7) Increased Risk of Stroke
Perhaps the most shocking statistic of all and most likely to keep you even more awake at night, scientists from the University of Alabama at Birmingham found that employed adults who consistently got less than 6 hours of nightly sleep increased their chances of suffering a stroke by four times compared with those getting suggested amounts of sleep!
8) Symptoms Associated with OSA (Obstructive Sleep Apnea)
OSA (obstructive sleep apnea) causes snoring and decreased airflow to your lungs, which in turn decreases oxygenation and carbon dioxide release within your body. This can lead to a cascade of adverse effects and associated symptoms, including but not limited to: excessive daytime sleepiness (including an increased risk of falling asleep behind the wheel), abrupt awakenings by gasping or choking, morning headaches, mood changes like depression and irritability, decreased libido, and increased stress on your body’s vital organs. OSA is easily treatable with CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) using a mask or interfaces attached to a conveniently small machine that fits right on your nightstand!
Let Dream Sleep Respiratory help you manage your OSA by asking your Doctor to refer you to use for a FREE sleep study. We offer the best machines, masks, and interfaces at great prices and will work with your benefits plan to find the right solution for you. Contact us today for more information!