Proper sleeping helps us survive. Literally. Human body cannot survive without resting, as it fills the body with energy after long, working hours. While sleeping, certain processes happen in the body and help the brain focus on memory. During these processes, body cells regenerate and tissues repair. In this way sleeping mends all the damage that has happened while you are awake.
If you do not sleep enough, none of this would happen. You would wake up irritated and moody, not to mention the lack of concentration you shall experience. When this happens for a long time, you are likely to experience severe health issues. A particular study involved the effect insomnia has on different parts of the body.
According to study’s findings, lack of sleep triggers serious and destructive ailments, ranging from diabetes to cancer. We have listed 6 health problems that are commonly associated with insomnia.
According to a 2013 study conducted by Johns Hopkins University, sleep deprivation can be the cause of Alzheimer`s disease and can affect the speed of the disease’s progression. This study was based on previous research that discovered getting enough sleep is essential for the brain to remove the cerebral waste (garbage-like buildup) that can accumulate and cause dementia.
The study was conducted on 70 adults, ranging between the ages of 53 and 91. The results showed that those who didn`t get enough sleep each night had a greater amount of beta-amyloid deposition in their brains on PET scans. This compound is a definitive marker of Alzheimer’s disease. According to these results, researchers concluded that not getting enough sleep prevents the brain from getting rid of this form of “cerebral waste.”
2.Obesity and Diabetes
A recent study conducted in Chicago confirmed that poor sleep is potentially linked to overweight and diabetes. Fatty acids affect the metabolism speed and insulin`s ability to regulate blood sugar. Therefore, researchers were interested in the effects poor sleep has on fatty acid buildup.
Examining 19 men’s sleeping habits, researchers found that those who got only four hours of sleep over the span of three nights had high levels of fatty acid within their blood between 4 a.m. and 9 a.m. This was a 15 to 30 percent increase over those who got 8.5 hours of sleep each night. Moreover, they discovered that increased fatty acid levels led to a higher degree of insulin resistance, all signs they associate with pre-diabetes. On the other hand, those who got more sleep did not give the same markers for obesity or pre-diabetes.
For some time now, cardiovascular disease has been linked to poor sleep. However a recent study presented at EuroHeart Care, the annual meeting of the European Society of Cardiology found greater evidence of a strong correlation. According to a research that was conducted on 657 Russians men between the ages of 25 to 64 years for 14 years, nearly two-thirds of those who experienced a heart attack also had a sleep disorder.
In addition the men who have sleep disorders also have 2.6 times higher risk of myocardial infraction, a heart attack that occurs when the heart muscle dies, and a 1.5 to four times greater risk of stroke.
A research that was conducted in 2014, found a link between increased incidences of suicide in adults and poor sleep, regardless of past history with depression.According to a 10 year study that was conducted by researchers at the Stanford University of Medicine, 420 participants ranging in middle to late adulthood were examined, and out of this group, 20 participants who were suffering from poor sleep unfortunately committed suicide. In other words according to this research those who have difficulty sleeping also have 1.4 times greater risk of committing suicide.
According to this research, white 85 year old males or older, are the most vulnerable to this effect of poor sleep. This research also showed that the health problems and the stress increase with age.
5. Ulcerative colitis
It is an inflammatory bowel disease in which patients have ulcers in their digestive tract lining. According to a 2014 study, sleep deprivation and excess sleeping can cause Crohn’s disease. A group of scientists at the Massachusetts General Hospital found that sleeping is essential when it comes to curbing inflammation response in the digestive tract that may cause the disease.
If you sleep less than 6 hours, you are actually increasing the risk of ulcerative colitis. On the other hand, if you sleep more than 9 hours, you are also increasing this risk. Moderation is the key, right? This theory was tested on adult women, and the development of ulcerative colitis was still increased, despite their weight, age, smoking factor, alcohol and others the like.
6. Prostate cancer
In 2013, the journal Cancer Epidemology, Biomarkers and Prevention published a study according to which prostate cancer was more common in patients who had any form of sleep disorder. The study involved 2.425 Icelandic men who were examined and followed for 3-7 years. These men were aged between 67 and 96. Men who could not fall sleep had a 60% higher risk of developing prostate cancer. The number was almost double in men who could not stay asleep. These men had a higher chance of a later stage prostate cancer.
Researchers said that it was all about the melatonin, the hormone that regulates sleeping. Decreased melatonin levels triggered more aggressive tumor growth. Melatonin levels are affected by excessive exposure to artificial light, which is the main cause of poor sleep.