Health conditions linked to lack of sleep

Scary Conditions Caused by Lack of Sleep

Not getting enough sleep can lead to some serious health issues. Here are some conditions experts say your lack of zz's could contribute to.

Cardiovascular disease and hypertension: Studies indicate that an inadequate amount of sleep (less than seven hours a night) can increase a person's risk for high blood pressure and hardening of the coronary arteries - a precursor to heart attack.

In addition, sleep loss caused by a common condition called sleep apnea - a disorder characterised by pauses in breathing or instances of shallow or infrequent breathing during sleep - can increase your risk of cardiovascular diseases including hypertension and stroke.

A good night's sleep has a positive effect on your blood pressure, meaning for most of us it goes down at night. If your hours of sleep are interrupted or shortened, your blood pressure may never fall low enough.

Diabetes: Research shows people who sleep fewer than five hours a night have a higher risk of developing Type 2 diabetes. Sleep deprivation is also a factor in insulin resistance or sensitivity which raises red flags about the long-term effects of prolonged sleep loss and chronic conditions like diabetes.

Even short-term sleep loss (being awake for approximately 36 hours) can put your body into a prediabetic state (blood glucose levels are higher than normal).

Obesity: Sleep deprived people are sometimes too tired to exercise and can't burn off calories during the day. A lack of sleep also throws off the balance of appetite-controlling hormones. The body is in survival mode when sleep deprived and ghrelin, the hormone which tells you to eat more, is compromised and leptin, which tells your body it's satiated, is reduced.

Stroke: A recent study found that seeping less than six hours a night significantly increased the risk of stroke in adults. Even among those with a normal body mass index.

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