These 6 Health Problems Are Caused by Your Lack of Sleep

Though most people know they should be getting seven to eight hours of sleep per night, that doesn’t mean they actually are. On the contrary, a Gallup poll found that a whopping 40 percent of Americans are getting less than seven hours of shut eye every night.

Understandably, sleep is hardly a priority for people who have to balance careers, families, and personal lives—but given how much of an impact it has on your health, it should be. Before your next late night at the office or midnight movie marathon, consider these health problems caused by lack of sleep.

Dementia

“Sleep is critical for brain health and a persistent lack of sleep can be a predisposing factor to dementia,” notes internist Dr. Stephen Schimpff in his book Longevity Decoded: The 7 Keys to Healthy Aging.

It’s true: People who suffer from consistently poor sleep sessions tend to have higher concentrations of beta-amyloid protein in their brain, which has long been attributed to the development of dementia and Alzheimer’s, according to 2015 research published in Nature Neuroscience. The researchers behind the study confirmed this link when they found that those who slept worst had both the highest concentrations of beta-amyloid in their brains and performed the worst on memory tests.

Colon Cancer

This may shock you, but among the risk factors for colon cancer is a lack of sleep. In a 2011 study published in the journal Cancer, researchers found that subjects who averaged less than six hours of sleep per night had a nearly 50 percent increased risk of colorectal adenomas—which are precursor lesions of colon cancer—compared to those who averaged more than seven hours every night.

Hypertension

In his book, Schimpff also notes that sleep deprivation “raises the risk for hypertension,” or high blood pressure. Research published in the journal Hypertension even found that over a 10-year period, people who slept for five hours or less per night were more than twice as likely to have high blood pressure.

Seeing as the Mayo Clinic lists hypertension as a risk factor for everything from metabolic syndrome to heart failure, this is definitely a health problem worth taking seriously.

Obesity

One of the most common health problems from lack of sleep is obesity. As Schimpff mentions in his book, being up late “leads to snacking and hence gaining too much weight.” Plus, “when we get too little sleep, we tend to crave food, usually the wrong foods.”

In one 2006 study published in the American Journal of Epidemiology, researchers followed approximately 60,000 women for 16 years and found that those who slept five hours or less nightly had a 15 percent higher risk of obesity than those who got seven hours of shut eye.

Heart Disease

Another health problem caused by lack of sleep is heart disease, because “people with poor sleep patterns have an increased buildup in plaques,” according to Sanjiv M. Patel, MD, a cardiologist at MemorialCare Heart & Vascular Institute at Orange Coast Medical Center in California.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) even warns that sleeping fewer than seven hours a night puts you at greater risk of a heart attack, so make sure you’re spending enough time in dreamland every night.

Diabetes

Believe it or not, one of the easiest ways to fight off type 2 diabetes is with an adequate amount of sleep. When Harvard researchers analyzed 11 reports on the relationship between sleep duration and diabetes, they found that for every hour less than seven hours that a person slept, they had a 9 percent increased risk of type 2 diabetes.

 

Facebook
Twitter
WhatsApp
Pinterest
Reddit
Delicious
LinkedIn
Facebook
Twitter
WhatsApp

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

READ NEXT

13 Tips for Cutting Back on Sugar

Added sugars are empty calories. Your body doesn’t need them, and they can pack on the pounds pretty quickly. The average American eats about 22 teaspoons a day. That’s more

10 Vaccine Myths You Should Completely Ignore

Unfortunately, even when a large number of studies have found no evidence to support the argument that vaccines can cause autism and other chronic illnesses, many parents are simply refusing

10 Things Doctors Do to Avoid Cancer

These experts definitely practice what they preach. Here’s how you can make these simple changes to prevent cancer too. “I make sure treats are really treats and not everyday occurrences.”

Alarming Signs You Don’t Get Enough Protein

Cravings Cookbook author Terry Hope Romero told Reader’s Digest that she knew she needed to incorporate more protein into her diet when she noticed that she never quite felt satisfied

6 Vitamins You Really Need As You Age

Vitamins allow your body to grow and develop. They also play important roles in bodily functions such as metabolism, immunity and digestion. There are 13 essential vitamins, including vitamins A,

5 Unexpected Benefits of Drinking Hot Water

Recent research revealed that drinking hot water on an empty stomach provides numerous health benefits. Lemon-infused water, for example, reduces free radicals and helps different organs function properly. Studies say

6 Effective Home Remedies for Heartburn

You can do a lot when it comes to heartburn at home. This annoying burning sensation affects more than 60 million Americans at least once a month. Home remedies are

Scroll to Top