Sleep is of extreme importance for the overall health of the person, both, physically and mentally. It is a process to recharge after the long and stressful day.
While sleeping, millions of processes continue to happen in the body, helping the brain to store the important data in the memory, and the cells work to repair the damaged tissue and regenerate.
On the other hand, when we lack sleep, all these functions fail to be done on time, and we wake up cranky and have difficulties to concentrate the whole day, but what’s more important, we experience many side effects which can significantly endanger our health.
5 diseases which are caused by the lack of sleep:
A study published in 2013 by The Journal Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers and Prevention, which showed that patients with sleep issues had an increased incidence and severity of prostate cancer.
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.
This link has been attributed to melanin, a sleep-regulating hormone, by researchers.
Higher melatonin levels were found to suppress tumor growth, while melatonin levels in people exposed to too much artificial light (which is a common cause of sleep deprivation) were found to have more aggressive tumor growth.
The link between heart problems and the lack of sleep has been suggested numerous times before, but the best evidence for the h3 correlation has been found by a recent study and presented at EuroHeartCare, the annual meeting of the European Society of Cardiology.
For 14 years, the team of researchers followed 657 Russian men between the ages of 25 and 64 and found that two-thirds of the individuals who experienced a heart attack had a sleep disorder as well.
Moreover, the men who complained of suffering from a sleeping disorder experienced 2.6 times higher risk of myocardial infraction. It is a heart attack that occurs when the heart muscle stops functioning. They also had a 1.5 to 4 times higher risk of stroke.
According to a 2014 study, sleep deprivation, and excess sleep may lead to ulcerative colitis, which is an inflammatory bowel disease manifested by ulcers within the lining of the digestive tract, as well as 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.
Researchers studied women enrolled in the Nurses’ Health Study (NHS) I since 1976 and NHS II since 1989, and discovered that the risks of ulcerative colitis were raised as sleep per night was reduced to 6 hours or less.
Also, they found that 9 hours of sleep also increased the risks, meaning that the proper amount of sleep is a must in the prevention of these diseases.
Even though the results were found in adult women only, the increased risk of developing ulcerative colitis in the case of sleep deprivation existed despite other factors as well, including weight, age, and habits such as drinking or smoking.
Obesity and Diabetes
Scientists have associated poor sleep to diabetes for decades, but recently, researchers at the University of Chicago explained that insufficient sleep leads ti obesity and even diabetes. Fatty acids in blood affect metabolism and the ability of insulin to maintain normal blood sugar. Scientists examined the effect of poor sleep on the accumulation of fatty acid,
They examined 19 different sleeping patterns of men and found that those who slept for 4 hours for three nights had increased fatty acid levels within their blood between 4 a.m. and 9 a.m. which was 15- 30 percent increase over those who slept 8.5 hours every night.
Furthermore, researchers discovered that the increased fatty acid levels led to an increased degree of insulin resistance, which indicates pre-diabetes.
According to a 2013 study conducted by the scientists of Johns Hopkins University, they discovered that a lack of sleep can cause Alzheimer’s disease and also affect the speed of its progression.
The study was based on previous research that found that sleep is of higher importance for the brain to eliminate the “cerebral waste,” or the buildup which can accumulate and lead to dementia.
The study involves 70 adults between the ages of 53 and 91, and the lack of sleep every night led to a higher amount of beta-amyloid deposition in their brains on PET scans.
This compound has been shown to be a definitive marker of Alzheimer’s, indicating that lack of sleep prevents the brain from removing this form of “cerebral waste.”
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