Lack of Sleep Can Lead to Illness
If you usually wake up groggy and grumpy, you're probably suffering from sleep deprivation. And one of the effects of lack of sleep is an increased risk of illness, according to a report from Harvard Medical School, "Improving Sleep: A guide to a good night's rest." It explains how lack of sleep does more than make a person bleary -- it can put a person at risk for heart disease, diabetes, obesity and other health problems.
For some people, late-night TV watching or Web surfing is to blame, but for many others, the culprit is insomnia or sleep apnea, a condition in which the airway closes and breathing stops or becomes shallower hundreds of times each night.
"Sleep apnea can also wreak havoc on the cardiovascular system, because the heart must work harder every time the brain sends out a 'wake up and breathe' signal," the report said.
"People with sleep apnea are prone to high blood pressure, heart failure and stroke. Although more than half of the estimated 18 million American who have sleep apnea are overweight, many are not. By age 65, about one in 10 people has sleep apnea."
"Improving Sleep: A guide to a good night's rest" costs $18 and is available from Harvard Health Publications at health.harvard.edu or by calling 8776499457.