Insufficient Sleep Could Lead to Health Issues

Waking up in the dark morning can be a hassle for many. The comfortable beds can be calling your name to come back while you’re in the bathroom trying to get ready. Sleep is a crucial part of our day, and a study revealed that not getting enough sleep could lead to health complications.

A news article by Hartford HealthCare says adults should get around seven hours of sleep each night, or more. Teenagers should be getting more, around 10 to 12 hours everyday. Younger children need to be getting around 13 hours of sleep.

"Sleep is so important. It helps with memory, learning, regulating our emotions and the function of our organs, which ultimately helps control our weight and immune system," said medical director of the Sleep Care Center at The Hospital of Central Connecticut Moshe Zutler, MD, in the article.

What complications can a lack of sleep cause?

If you do not get enough sleep, there is a higher chance of heightened high blood pressure risk, change in weight, diabetes, or even heart attack and stroke. It can also lead to mental health problems such as depression.

“Last year, for the first time ever, the American Heart Association elevated the proper amount of sleep to its list of the eight essential factors to improve cardiovascular health. This was a really big deal because it shows just how important sleep is to living a heart healthy lifestyle,” continued Zutler.

Sleep deficiency is an actual medical condition that refers to not getting enough sleep. It can mean you're not getting enough sleep, or falling asleep at the wrong time. You can also have sleep deficiency if you sleep long hours, yet do not get well-rested sleep. The CDC reported that around 1 in every 3 dults in the United States are not getting necessary hours of sleep per day.

Zutler says if you’re getting enough hours of sleep but still waking up tired and not refreshed, there can be an underlying health complication such as sleep apnea, restless leg syndrome, insomnia, or others. If this is the case, it may be helpful to talk to a medical professional.

"There are many things like nasal congestion, heartburn and excessive alcohol or nicotine use that can interfere with proper sleep and all of them are treatable," continued Dr. Zutler.

"If we discover any issues like snoring or breathing difficulties, we may recommend a sleep study in our overnight sleep lab or even a home sleep study to get a better idea of what’s going on and treat the issue accordingly."

What are some symptoms of sleep disorder and sleep deficiency?

There can be many physical and mental symptoms of sleep deficiency. Some can include fatigue, reduced productivity, high blood pressure, heart failure, and even stroke. Sleep deficiency and sleep disorder can also lead to an increased risk of car-related accidents.

Some types of sleep disorders include sleep apnea, narcolepsy, restless leg syndrome, periodic limb movement disorder, and parasomnias.

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