Sleep is one of the most necessary ‘actions’ and is considered of extreme significance for the health status of a person. Sufficient sleep is necessary both for mental and physical condition of our body. After the long and stressful day full of ‘to do’ actions, what you need is a good and quality sleep so that you can in a way ‘recharge your batteries’.
During sleep, your body is actually not sleeping, but instead millions of processes are still happening. During sleep your brain stores important information that it has received during the day, so your memory will be improved if you sleep on regular time periods. Also, the cells during sleep work on the repairmen of the damaged tissue and regenerate it.
When we lack of sleep, all these functions and processes within our bodies fail to be done in a timely manner. As a result we wake up sleepy and it is difficult for us to concentrate later in the day. But if this is persistent, you can experience a lot of side effects and these can affect your health.
Sleep deprivation can be the reason for serious, at some points, even life-threatening conditions, ranging from severe heart diseases, diabetes or even cancer. Below you can find the 6 diseases that can be caused by sleep deprivation:
1. Cardiovascular Disease
It has been considered and discussed a lot in the past as well as in the present on the relation between the lack of sleep and the cardiovascular diseases. However, recent study found a strong linkage and it has been presented at the annual meeting of the European Society of Cardiology, EuroHeartCare.
The researchers team monitored 657 Russian men, aged 25 – 64, for 14 years. The researchers concluded that 2/3 of the individuals subject to the research who suffered a heart attack had some sort of sleep disorder.
Furthermore, those who complained to have lack sleep, that is, those who suffered sleep disorder, were 1/5 to 4 times at risk to suffer a stroke, and 2.6 times at risk to suffer myocardial infraction.
2. Ulcerative Colitis
Ulcerative colitis, which is a disease on the bowels, or inflammation on the bowels, as stated in a 2014 study, can be caused be lack of sleep, or sleep deprivation or by excess sleep. Ulcerative colitis is manifested by Crohn’s Disease or ulcers within the digestive tract.
Massachusetts General Hospital experts say that sleep in strict periods of time and the adequate amount of sleep is of essential significance to curb the inflammation responses within the digestive system.
Women at the Nurses’ Health Study (NHS) I have been subject of research since 1976 and NHS II since 1989. The research team found ulcerative colitis risks were greater at those who had up to 6 hours of sleep per night.
However, they also found out that those who practiced more than 9 hours of sleep also had increased risk of ulcerative colitis. This means that average amount of sleep is of essential meaning for the prevention against ulcerative colitis.
Adult women have been mainly subjected to research, but the studies also found that increased risk for developing ulcerative colitis exists also due to other factors such as weight, age, consuming alcohol, and smoking.
3. Obesity and Diabetes
Poor sleep and diabetes are closely related. The University of Chicago research team state that poor sleep can potentially lead to obesity and that obesity causes diabetes.
Namely, fatty acids accumulation can be due to sleep deprivation because the level of the fatty acids affects the blood sugar, or the ability of the insulin to regulate the blood sugar level.
Researchers examined 19 sleeping patterns of men. They found out that those who had 4 hours sleep for three nights consequently, had 15-30 percent higher levels of fatty acids between 4 a.m.-9 a.m., than those who had 8.5 hours sleep for the same time period.
Moreover, the research team also state that increase level of fatty acids leads to increase level of the insulin resistance, and this can result in pre-diabetes.
In 2013, Johns Hopkins University scientists conducted a study and thus they found that sleep deprivation can cause Alzheimer’s diseases, ad furthermore it can additionally accelerate the progress of the disease to another stage.
They based their study on earlier research in which it is stated that sleep is important for the elimination of the ‘cerebral waste’ form the brain which can later lead to dementia if accumulated.
Subjected to the study were 70 adults, aged 53-91. The study proved that every night they lacked sleep it led to increased amounts of beta-amyloid deposition in their brains on PET scans.
This was a definite indicator of Alzheimer’s, thus stating that the sleep deprivation prevents the ‘cerebral waste’ to be removed from the brain.
5. Prostate Cancer
Study from 2013 was published by the journal Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers and Prevention, and it showed that patients with sleep deprivation, or sleep disorders had an increased incidence and severity of prostate cancer.
Over 2400 Icelandic men, aged 67-96, have been observed for 3-7 years, and it has been found that prostate cancer was at higher risk (at 60% of the examinees who had trouble of falling asleep) to be developed.
The digits doubled at those who suffered difficulty of staying asleep. Furthermore, men with sleep disorders were more likely to have prostate cancer.
Melanin, sleep-regulating hormone, was linked to this condition by the researchers.
Higher melatonin levels suppress tumor growth, while melatonin levels in case of too much exposure at artificial light (common reason for lack of sleep) have more aggressive tumor growth effect.
A study conducted in 2014 claims the relation between the sleep deprivation and the increased incidences of suicide, no matter the earlier depression medical history.
Stanford University of Medicine researchers conducted a research study for 10 years and it involved 420 participants whose age was ranging from middle to late adulthood.
The participants, 20 of them, who suffered from poor sleep, committed suicide, and this made the scientists to conclude that the sleep deprivation is closely related to heath issues, and mental disorders.