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Giving Up Sleep May Come at a Risky Price

02/11/18

  09:36:00 pm, by MedBen5   , 271 words,  
Categories: Wellness

Giving Up Sleep May Come at a Risky Price

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In today’s busy culture, sleep can sometimes be low on our priority lists. After all, if we sleep for a full eight hours, that only leaves us 16 hours (at least half of which are spent working), to exercise, cook and eat dinner, do housework, socialize, etc. The daily “to-do” list can sometimes be overwhelming, and research shows that more and more often, people are getting less sleep to do more. According to Eve Van Cauter, Ph. D., Director of Sleep, Metabolism and Health Center at the University of Chicago, over the last four decades, sleep has decreased 1.5-2 hours per night.

But at what cost are you willing to give up sleep? Dr. Van Cauter states that research increasingly points to links between insufficient sleep and diseases such as obesity and diabetes, as those who are sleep deprived tend to eat more foods that they would generally avoid. Additionally, lack of sleep can cause a decrease in insulin sensitivity, which increases the risk of type II diabetes.

Van Cauter also notes that sleep deprivation has been connected to cancer and Alzheimer’s disease. Plus, individuals who get less than six hours of sleep are at an increased risk of hypertension – and those who get less than five hours double their risk.

Some suggestions that Van Cauter makes to get more sleep include avoiding mid-day naps, keeping the bedroom dark, cool, and quiet, and establishing a regular and relaxing bedtime routine. Talking to your family physician may be necessary as well. MedBen WellLiving has written a WellCare article about the importance of sleep, which contains additional tips to get your senses ready for bed.

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