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Lack of Sleep Increases Risk of Health Problems, Early Mortality, Study Finds


  09:58:00 pm, by MedBen5   , 257 words,  
Categories: Wellness, Research

Lack of Sleep Increases Risk of Health Problems, Early Mortality, Study Finds


Sure, work is important and sometimes burning the midnight oil is necessary for getting projects done on time. But making a habit of late nights and less sleep can have long-term health consequences, new research suggests.

The study of over 400,000 British adults found that people who regularly deprive themselves of sufficient sleep have a 10% higher risk of early mortality compared to those who follow the "early to bed, early to rise" adage. Stayer-uppers also fared worse with diabetes (25% higher risk) and respiratory diseases such as asthma (22% higher risk), in addition to other health problems.

"It is important for people who are night owls to learn there may be health consequences, but there may be things they can do to help overcome those problems," said lead researcher Kristin Knutson, an associate professor of neurology at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago. "There's hope, but it may take some effort."

So how much sleep is enough? It varies from person to person, but 7-9 hours is a generally accepted target. Of course, some people can get by fine with less, while others do better with an extra hour or two. A good rule of thumb: If you rely on your alarm clock to wake you up, then chances are you need to hit the hay earlier.

Finally, if a lack of slumber is due not to personal choice but because of insomnia or another sleep disorder, don’t just rely on pills to solve the problem. Talk to your family doctor to help you determine potential causes and solutions.

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