*YAWN* I seriously need to get more sleep...
I came across an article today - from the health.usnews.com site. The author enumerated the risks of getting too little Zzz-time. She stated 50 to 70 million Americans suffer from a chronic sleep disorder (insomnia or sleep apnea). I wonder how many Japanese, Chinese, Arabs, Koreans, Filipinos, British, etc are under the same problem. With the changing world, a lot of factors influence our sleep patterns. We are far more busier compared to the generations in the past. Reasons may include the internet, our jobs (graveyard shifts/night shifts are fast-growing, as some businesses opt for 24 hours and call centers need to cater clients from all over the world), and night life.
Research show, these are the health consequences for not getting enough sleep:
Obesity - The fewer sleep (less than 7 hours of sleep a night), the more obese people tend to be. Source: 2006 Institute of Medicine report. Reason: Lack of sleep boosts Ghrelin, the hormone responsible for stimulating appetite; and lowers Leptin, the hormone that suppresses appetite.
Unhealthy Diet - People with obstructive sleep apnea eat a diet higher in cholesterol, protein, total fat, and total saturated fat... and women are especially affected. Source: Journal of Clinical Health Medicine
Diabetes and impaired glucose tolerance - People getting five or fewer hours of sleep each night are 2.5 times more likely to have diabetes. Those with 6 hours or fewer are 1.7 times likely. Source: 2005 Archives of Internal Medicine
Heart Attacks - 45 percent more likely in women who get five or fewer hours of sleep per night, compared to those who got more. Source: A 2003 study
Increase in Blood Pressure - The more severe the disorder, the more significant the hypertension. Source: 2006 IOM report
Risk of Auto Accident - Nearly 20 percent of serious car crashes involve a sleepy driver. Source: 2007 New England Journal of Medicine
Off Balance - Older people who get less sleep at night, and are drowsy during the day are 2 to 4.5 more likely to sustain a fall. Source: 2007 Journal of Gerontology
Depression - Less sleep means more prone to depression. I've read about this in the past, too.
Behavior Problems - Kids may suffer more behavior problems. An example is ADHD or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Source: April issue of the Archives of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine
Death may be nearer - Those who get five hours or less per night have approximately 15 percent greater risk of dying - regardless of the cause. Source: Sleep and the Archives of General Psychiatry.
Hmm.. With my sleep pattern, thank God, I'm not obese... Yes, I might have cravings for unhealthy food... Nope, I don't have serious problems such as diabetes, or heart attacks, and hypertension (not yet, maybe)... I haven't crashed my car yet... I get off balanced sometimes, but I'm not that old... I get depressed, or wait, just sad, if I don't hear from my bf for hours... I'm not sure if I have behavioral problems, but I get easily irritated if I lack sleep for many days... And as for the last one, that's scary... I hope I'll live long. hehe
I've always wondered why sleep should be relative to day or night. What if one gets sufficient sleep during the day and lives a nocturnal life. Half of the world's asleep or awake, at one time anyways. I'll have to look that up...