Reasons Not to Skimp on Sleep
Getting a good night's sleep could be one of the smartest health
priorities you schedule for your day. Some possible health consequences
of getting too little or poor sleep can involve cardiovascular,
endocrine, immune and nervous systems. Between 50 to 70 million
Americans suffer from a chronic sleep disorder, such as insomnia or
sleep apnea, which affects daily functioning.
Research has shown:
- Insufficient sleep appears to tip hunger hormones out of whack.
Leptin, which suppresses appetite, is lowered; and ghrelin, which
stimulates appetite, gets a boost.
- You're more apt to make bad food choices that would entail a diet
higher in cholesterol, protein, total fat and total saturated fat.
Women were especially affected.
- Those getting five or fewer hours of sleep each night were 2.5 times more likely to be diabetic.
- Women who sleep five or fewer hours per night were 45 percent more likely to have heart attacks.
- Blood pressure may increase. Obesity plays a role here, so losing weight can ease this.
- Auto accidents rise. Nearly 20 percent of serious car-crash
injuries involve a sleepy driver, and that's independent of alcohol use.
- Older folks who wake up at night and are drowsy during the day are more likely to fall due to being off balance.
- Adults, adolescents and middle schoolers report more symptoms of depression and lower self esteem.
- More behavior problems are seen in kids who are plagued by lack of sleep.
- There is approximately a 15 percent greater risk of dying for those who get five hours or less of sleep per night. [news.yahoo.com]