Sleep is probably the most essential yet most ignored aspect of healthy living. Doctors recommend that we have a minimum of 8 hours of sleep daily for your body’s total rejuvenation. Most of us hardly have 4 hours of sleep, let alone 8 hours.
It is believed that sleep helps to stabilize your body allowing cells to repair damaged tissues in the process, the brain is also said to be very active when we sleep and the brain cells help us to commit things to memory .
On the other hand when we don’t sleep for the required number of hours we are usually dull looking, lethargic and our mental sharpness is affected. We also tend to be uncoordinated and lack sufficient energy to carry out our daily tasks.
It has been discovered in studies carried out that a lack of sleep can be highly detrimental to your general wellbeing.
Some of the diseases attributed to a lack of sleep include the following;
A study conducted by researchers in 2013 at John Hopkins University discovered that a lack of sleep can both be a cause of Alzheimer’s disease and indeed cause the disease to progress rapidly. This research arose as a result of other study on sleep where it was uncovered that sleep is absolutely essential for the prevention of dementia as the brain needs to dispose of “cerebral waste” that builds up and can as a consequence lead to this debilitating disease.
During the study on how sleep can prevent Alzheimer’s 70 adults between the ages of 53 and 91 were used as test subjects.
Researchers discovered that the subjects who reported lacking proper sleep each night exhibited a greater amount of beta-amyloid deposition in their brain as seen on a PET scan. Beta-amyloid is believed to be a conclusive indicator of Alzheimer’s disease; researchers thereby concluded that a lack of adequate sleep prohibited the brain from disposing of the “cerebral waste.”
Source: Spira AP, Gamaldo AA, An Y, et al. Self-reported Sleep and β-Amyloid Deposition in Community-Dwelling Older Adults. JAMA Neurology. 2013.
2. Obesity and Diabetes
It has been known for some time now that there is a correlation between inadequate sleep and diabetes. A study carried out at the University of Chicago however also revealed how poor sleep can potentially cause obesity. Researchers studied the effects poor sleep had on fatty acid accumulation in the body. Researchers were armed with the knowledge that fatty acid in the blood can slow down the body’s metabolism as well as the body’s regulation of blood sugar.
In this study, 19 subjects were examined; researchers discovered that those that had just 4 hours of sleep in three nights had increased levels of fatty acid in their blood between the hours of 4 to 9a.m. This indicated a 15 – 30% increment compared to the subjects that had about 8.5 hours of sleep every night. It was also revealed by researchers that the fatty acid increase in the blood caused greater insulin resistance further indicating a pre-diabetes situation. In comparison those that got adequate sleep showed no signs of insulin resistance nor fatty acid build up in their blood.
In 2014, researchers discovered a correlation between a rise in the cases of suicide in adults and poor sleep and this was irrespective of any known history with depression. In a study spanning a 10-year period the study conducted at the Stanford University of Medicine by researchers had a total of 420 subjects taken from middle to late adulthood. From the tests it was observed that 20 participants that had sleep disorders committed suicide. As a result of this, researchers concluded subjects with sleeping disorders were 1.4 times more likely to commit suicide.
4. Cardiovascular disease
Inadequate sleep has been seen as a pointer to Cardiovascular disease .
EuroHeartCare in a study carried out stated this at the annual meeting of the European Society of Cardiology. They discovered more proof of poor sleep being a cause of cardiovascular disease. The research involved 657 Russian men between the ages of 25 and 64. The study was to span a period of 14 years. They discovered that about 2/3 of subjects who had a heart attack also has a sleep related issue.
5. Prostate cancer
A study in 2013 and one published by the journal Cancer Epidemology, Biomarkers and Prevention.
Researchers discovered that there was an increased incidence and severity of prostate cancer particularly in patients with sleep disorders.
The study involved about 2,425 Icelandic men aged between 67 and 96 years. The research spanned about three to seven years. It was found that the risk of prostate cancer increased in 60 percent of men with sleep disorders. The number rose to 120 percent with men who said they had a challenge staying asleep for the required number of hours.
Melatonin is a hormone known to regulate sleep and researchers of the study point this connection to the melatonin. It is believed that increased levels of melatonin have been seen to overpower tumor development. Also melatonin in the subjects exposed to way too much artificial light (a known cause of sleep deprivation) were discovered to have more violent prostate tumor growth.
6. Ulcerative colitis
It is believed that Ulcerative colitis which is a known inflammatory bowel disease, where there is a development of ulcers in the digestive tract lining and Crohn’s Disease are results of both sleep deficiency, and excessive sleep. This is stated in a 2014 study , Massachusetts General Hospital researchers discovered that in order to stop inflammation in the digestive system as well as the two diseases highlighted an appropriate amount of sleep is required.
Between 1976 and 1989 at the Nurses’ Health Study (NHS) I and NHS II. It has been discovered by researchers that ulcerative colitis risk amplified as the number of hours of required sleep decreased to about six hours or less. Also it was discovered that an increase in the number of hours of sleep by say 9 hours a night would also increase the risks.
Reference: The Hearty Soul
Original source: medicaldaily.com