Sleep and Disease

Good sleep is not an option, it is necessity. Lack of sleep or disturbance in sleep on regular basis have long term consequences including chronic medical conditions like diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure and these may lead to a shortened life expectancy. Further, researches shows that habitual sleep of more than nine hours is also associated with poor health.

Understanding the relation between Sleep duration and Chronic Disease

There are basically three types of studies conducted to understand the link between sleep and disease.
  • Sleep Deprivation Studies : This involves depriving healthy research volunteers of sleep and examining any short-term physiological changes that could trigger disease. Such studies have revealed a variety of potentially harmful effects of sleep deprivation usually associated with increased stress, such as increased blood pressure, impaired control of blood glucose, and increased inflammation.
  • Cross-Sectional Epidemiological Studies: This involves examining questionnaires that provide information about habitual sleep duration and the existence of a particular disease or group of diseases in large populations at one point in time. For example, both reduced and increased sleep duration, as reported on questionnaires, are linked with hypertension, diabetes, and obesity. However, cross-sectional studies cannot explain how too little or too much sleep leads to disease because people may have a disease that affects sleep, rather than a sleep habit that causes a disease to occur or worsen.
  • longitudinal epidemiological studies: This is the third and most convincing type of evidence that long-term sleep habits are associated with the development of numerous diseases comes from tracking the sleep habits and disease patterns over long periods of time in individuals who are initially healthy. We do not yet know whether adjusting one’s sleep can reduce the risk of eventually developing a disease or lessen the severity of an ongoing disease. However, the results from longitudinal epidemiological studies are now beginning to suggest that this is likely.
Researches have shown that insufficient sleep causes below mentioned diseases among other problems:
  • Obesity
  • Diabetes
  • Heart Disease and Hypertension
  • Mood Disorders
  • Immune Function
  • Increase intake of Alcohol
  • Reduced life expectancy 
So, take care and have a nice sleep. Throw out all the thoughts while you go to sleep.