In order to function properly the body needs good night sleep. Sleep is of great essence for the health and overall well-being. While sleeping the body restores its energy and recharges itself for the following day.
During sleeping time, millions of processes occur in the body like helping the brain to store the crucial data in the memory, and at that time the body cells diligently work to repair the damaged tissue and regenerate.
If the body does not get the required sleep, then it cannot function properly and all the elaborate functions will not be completed. Aside the fact that the next day we will feel cranky and have difficulties to perform simple tasks, there would be serious adverse effects which will greatly endanger our overall health.
Many studies have been conducted regarding lack of sleep, and it was concluded that it can lead to various health issues such as diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, and cancer. Here are the 6 diseases that are directly caused by sleep deprivation:
- Cardiovascular Disease
Deprivation of sleep and heart issues have always been connected, but this was strongly confirmed by a recent study which results were revealed at EuroHeartCare, the annual meeting of the European Society of Cardiology.
The study involved 657 Russian men between the ages of 25 and 64 which were monitored by a team of researchers for 14 years. It was discovered that two-thirds of the persons who had experienced a heart attack had also a sleep disorder.
Above all, the persons that reported sleep disorders had likewise a 1/5 to 4 times higher stroke risk, and 2.6 times greater risk of myocardial infarction.
In 2013, at the Johns Hopkins University, a group of scientists conveyed a study which revealed that sleep deprivation can cause Alzheimer’s disease and as well as impact the speed of its development.
Prior to this study there was a research on which this elaborated study was based, where it was discovered that sleep is extremely important for the brain to remove the “cerebral waste,” or the buildup which can accumulate thus leading to dementia.
This study included 70 adults in the age span of 53-91years old, regular shortage of sleep led to a greater amount of beta-amyloid deposition in their brains on PET scans. Beta-amyloid deposition has been proven to be a definitive marker of Alzheimer’s; suggesting that sleep deprivation prevents the brain from eliminating “cerebral waste.”
- Ulcerative colitis
Lack of sleep and as well as excess sleep may lead to ulcerative colitis, according to a conducted study in 2014. Ulcerative colitis is an inflammatory bowel illness accompanied by ulcers within the lining of the digestive tract, as well as Crohn’s Disease.
According to the findings of experts from Massachusetts General Hospital, proper amount of sleep is of crucial significance for curbing inflammation responses within the digestive system which frequently causes these diseases.
Another group of researchers studied women involved in the Nurses’ Health Study (NHS) I since 1976, and NHS II since 1989, and it was found out that there was an increased risk of developing ulcerative colitis due to reduced sleep to 6 hours or less each night.
However, it was also revealed that 9 hours of sleep have also increased the risk of developing some kind of disease. Therefore, an adequate amount of sleep is a must in the prevention of these diseases.
It is very important to know the fact that the raised risk of appearance of ulcerative colitis in the case of sleep deprivation existed no matter of the factors such as age, weight, and even habits like drinking or smoking.
- Prostate Cancer
It was discovered that individuals with sleep problems had an increased incidence and severity of prostate cancer, according to a released 2013 study, in the journal Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers and Prevention. In this study the researchers monitored 2,425 Icelandic men in an age span of 67-96 years old for a period of time of 3-7 years, where it was revealed that 60% of the involved subjects who have experienced trouble falling asleep were at risk of developing prostate cancer.
This number doubled in men who had difficulties staying asleep. Above all, people with sleep issues were more likely to develop later stages of prostate cancer.
Researchers contributed this issue to melanin which is a sleep-regulating hormone.
Namely, higher melatonin levels can suppress tumor growth, while melatonin levels in people exposed to excess amount of artificial light (which is a common cause for shortage of sleep) were discovered to have more aggressive tumor development.
- Obesity and Diabetes
A team of researchers at the University of Chicago carried out a study which revealed the way how poor sleep will potentially lead to obesity, and ultimately, to diabetes.
Furthermore, experts surveyed the effects of not sufficient sleep on the buildup of fatty acids revealing that the fatty acid levels in the blood greatly impact the speed and ability of insulin to regulate blood sugar.
Namely, they examined 19 different sleeping patterns of men and came to conclusion that the ones who slept for 4 hours for 3 nights in a row had raised fatty acid levels within their blood in the time period of 4 a.m. to 9 a.m. which in percentage wise is 15 to 30% increase over those ones who slept 8.5 hours each night.
Further on, experts found out that the increased fatty acid levels led to an increased degree of insulin resistance, which suggests pre-diabetes condition.
According to a 2014 study, there is a strong relation between poor sleep and suicide incidents in adults, as a matter fact it showed an increased rate no matter of the previous depression history.
A team of researchers at the Stanford University of Medicine conveyed a study lasting for 10 years which included 420 participants in an age span of middle to late adulthood.
Unfortunately, 20 participants involved in this study who struggled with sleep deprivation have committed suicide. This led to conclusion that persons who continuously had sleeping difficulties were 1.4 times more likely to commit suicide.
However, most prone persons to committing suicide were elderly white males, in an age of 85 years old and even older, and who had sleeping disorders. Therefore, scientists linked the increased suicide rate to poor sleep, health issues, and stress increased with age.