Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Sleep is not an option. A behavior that is common to all of us

What do Arianna Huffington and Oncologist Dr Steven Eisenberg have in common ? Like us, they require sleep to allow our brains to recover, store energy, and allow our neural network to organize our thoughts and emotions.

Consequences of Insufficient Sleep
In the short term, a lack of adequate sleep can affect judgment, mood, ability to learn and retain information, and may increase the risk of serious accidents and injury. In the long term, chronic sleep deprivation may lead to a host of health problems including obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and even early mortality.

Sleep and Disease Risk

The price of insufficient sleep may be poor health. Study after study has revealed that people who sleep poorly are at greater risk for a number of diseases and health problems. And now the search is on to discover why this might be. more

Sleep, Performance, and Public Safety

Lack of sleep exacts a toll on perception and judgment. In the workplace, its effects can be seen in reduced efficiency and productivity, errors, and accidents. Sometimes the effects can even be deadly, as in the case of drowsy driving fatalities. more

At a Glance

  • The cost of poor sleep is much greater than many people think: it may have profound consequences for our long-term health.
  • Research has revealed that people who consistently fail to get enough sleep are at an increased risk of chronic disease, and scientists are now beginning to understand why.
Treating sleep as a priority, rather than a luxury, may be an important step in preventing a number of chronic medical conditions.

Sleep deprivation research 

Researching the Link Between Sleep Duration and Chronic Disease

There are three main types of study that help us understand the links between sleep habits and the risk of developing certain diseases. The first type (called sleep deprivation studies) involves depriving healthy research volunteers of sleep and examining any short-term physiological changes that could trigger disease. Such studies have revealed a variety of potentially harmful effects of sleep deprivation usually associated with increased stress, such as increased blood pressure, impaired control of blood glucose, and increased inflammation.

The second type of research (called cross-sectional epidemiological studies) involves examining questionnaires that provide information about habitual sleep duration and the existence of a particular disease or group of diseases in large populations at one point in time. For example, both reduced and increased sleep duration, as reported on questionnaires, are linked with hypertension, diabetes, and obesity. However, cross-sectional studies cannot explain how too little or too much sleep leads to disease because people may have a disease that affects sleep, rather than a sleep habit that causes a disease to occur or worsen.

The third and most convincing type of evidence that long-term sleep habits are associated with the development of numerous diseases comes from tracking the sleep habits and disease patterns over long periods of time in individuals who are initially healthy (i.e.,longitudinal epidemiological studies). We do not yet know whether adjusting one’s sleep can reduce the risk of eventually developing a disease or lessen the severity of an ongoing disease. However, the results from longitudinal epidemiological studies are now beginning to suggest that this is likely.

Getting the Sleep You Need

The Dr. Steven Show | Arianna Huffington - YouTube
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