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We all know that lack of sleep can leave us feeling crabby and foggy. However, what’s surprising to find out is just exactly how lack of sleep affects us in so many other ways. It can have a negative impact on your sexual relationship, memory, weight loss, health and appearance. It may be surprising to find out that numerous studies have found insufficient sleep can increase someone’s risks of developing serious medical issues such as diabetes, obesity and heart disease.
Read on to find out more information about the effects of sleep deprivation on health.
Sleep Deprivation And Accidents
Sleep deprivation has resulted in some of the biggest disasters in the history of the world. The Exxon Valdez oil spill of 1979 and the Chernobyl nuclear meltdown, both resulted because of sleep deprivation. According to Harvard University, the Exxon Valdez oil spill resulted when those who were in charge of making important decisions were suffering from sleep deprivation.
In addition to sleep deprivation causing such high-profile disasters, it has also been linked to medical errors being made in hospitals. According to the National Institute of Medicine, sleep deprivation has led to between 50,000 to 100,000 deaths each year due to preventable medical errors. Doctors, particularly those in residency or newly graduated, are often required to work continuous shifts of 24 to 48 hours with little to no sleep in between. Although it’s hard to estimate the full extent of medical errors resulting from sleep deprivation, informational studies have shown it does have a significant impact.
There have been many studies done that proved a link exists between sleep deprivation and obesity. One study found that people who slept less than six hours per night on a consistent basis were more likely to have an access amount of body fat, than those who slept an average of eight hours each night.
Harvard University research has proven people who report sleeping less than five hours each night had an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes. On a better note, studies have also shown that improved sleep can lead to a positive change in blood sugar control and a reduction in the effects of type 2 diabetes.
The Journal of the American Medical Association reports in a recent study that even a small reduction in sleep can lead to an increased risk of coronary artery disease, which is a predictor of myocardial infarction and death related to heart disease. There’s also a growing amount of evidence which suggests a connection between sleep loss resulting from sleep apnea and an increased risk of cardiovascular diseases such as stroke, high blood pressure, coronary artery disease and arrhythmia.