As seen on The Hearty Soul, sleep is one of the most relaxing and blissful things we do in order to survive and also one of the most important ones. When we fall asleep, we allow our body to recuperate from the stress of the previous day. What’s more, during sleep, there are a lot of different processes happening in the body and sleep gives space for the brain to sharpen its memory, the cells to regenerate, and to repair any damaged tissues.
On the other hand, being sleep deprived does not give the opportunity for all of these actions to take place. Also, when we do not get sufficient sleep, we will feel cranky in the morning and find it hard to concentrate and we also feel exhausted. When sleep deprivation becomes a chronic issue, it can take a huge toll on the health. Namely, studies have discovered that lack of sleep can lead to cancer, heart problems, and diabetes.
Below, check out a list with the 6 illnesses that can be triggered by insufficient sleep.
6 Diseases Your Lack of Sleep Is Causing
- Heart disease
According to recent research, almost 2/3 of the people who experienced a heart attack were also suffering from some sleep disorder. Moreover, the men who had sleeping issues had a 2.6 higher chance of myocardial infarction, a type of heart attack which takes place upon the death of a heart muscle, as well as a 1.5 bigger risk of stroke.
Insufficient sleep can lead to Alzheimer’s, claims a study done in 2013 by researchers from Johns Hopkins University. Also, it can fasten the progression of the illness. Namely, during the study, those who reported poor sleep had a higher level of beta-amyloid in their brains. This is a compound which is a definitive marker of Alzheimer’s. Researchers concluded that poor sleep averts the brain to expel this type of “cerebral waste”.
- Prostate cancer
According to a 2013 study, there was an increased occurrence and severity of prostate cancer in patients who reported sleep problems. The risk of prostate cancer in the tested men increased to 60 percent. Later stages of this type of cancer were more likely to happen in those who had trouble with sleep. According to the researchers, this is probably due to melatonin, a sleep-regulating hormone whose higher levels have been able to stop the growth of tumors whereas in those who are exposed to excessive artificial light (and lack melatonin) it leads to fast growth of tumors.
- Ulcerative colitis
This type of inflammatory bowel illness is characterized by ulcers on the lining of the digestive tract and it can develop as a result of surplus sleep and lack of sleep, according to a study from 2014. The researchers from Massachusetts General Hospital therefore assert that adequate amount of sleep is crucial so that the inflammatory responses in the digestive system are reduced.
A 10-year long study done by a team of researchers from the Stanford University of Medicine showed that there is a link between suicide rates in adults and poor sleep or more precisely, 1.4 times higher risk. Unfortunately, 20 of the 420 participants who experienced poor sleep committed suicide.
- Diabetes and obesity
According to a recent study, lack of sleep can lead to obesity and diabetes. Since fatty acid levels in the blood can influence the metabolism and the insulin’s capacity to balance the blood sugar, the team tested the impact of insufficient sleep on the fatty acid buildup. Hence, those who slept only 4 hours within 72 hours experienced higher amounts of fatty acids between 4 am and 9 am or 15 to 30 percent higher than those who managed to get up to 8.5 hours of sleep per night. What’s more, it was discovered that the higher amounts of fatty acids led to stronger insulin resistance, which is considered to be a symptom of pre-diabetes. This was not the case with the individuals who got regular sleep.