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5 ways lack of sleep is killing you and other side-effects

26-08-2013

Sleep. For most of us it is simply something that we fall into and wake out of, but for some people it can be extremely problematic, it can become something that they fight to get and never have enough of. While most people associate lack of sleep with tiredness, irritability and other such issues, it can actually be far more serious than that. In fact, here are 5 ways lack of sleep is killing you and other side-effects.

The more we learn about sleep the more we have come to understand what a central role it plays in our general health and wellbeing. In the past sleep was seen as important to our energy levels, but as we have found out more about sleep we have discovered that it actually plays a far more wide ranging and fundamental role in our general health and wellbeing.

So vital is it that a lack of sleep can have a very concerning range of health effects, right up to drastically shortening your life. Here are 5 ways lack of sleep is killing you.

Heart Disease.
Heart disease is one of the biggest concerns in Western society at the moment, claiming many lives. Getting seven hours of sleep, eating well and exercising can help lower the risk of heart disease by up to 65 percent.  However, the flipside to this is that people who slept fewer than six hours a night were 48 percent more likely to get or die from heart disease. Sleep and heart disease seem to be intimately linked.

Stroke
Not only can lack of sleep increase chances of heart disease but a recent study of more than 5,600 people found those who slept fewer than six hours a night were far more likely to suffer from a stroke than those who were getting more sleep. Even more worrying, your stroke risk is also higher if you are overweight, diabetic or hypertensive  which are all conditions that are linked to poor sleep.

Obesity
It would appear that sleep also plays a crucial role in appetite control and therefore obesity. A number of studies have found that lack of sleep can play havoc with the hormones that control appetite. Those who were sleep deprived had higher rates of the hormones that raised appetite. Even worse, the raised appetite also increased the desire for fatty foods.

Depression and anxiety
While lack of sleep can certainly make you feel more depressed, in the long term it is worse than simply feeling down because you are tired, lack of sleep can actually effect the regulation of your emotional state, making regular people anxious and depressed and making those who are anxious or depressed even more so.

Cancer
Yes, even cancer rates are effected by sleep. A number of studies have found that people who are suffering from lack of sleep are more likely to get certain types of cancer. For example one study found women who got less than six hours sleep a night were more likely to develop breast cancer.

 


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