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How important is sleep anyway?

Updated: May 30, 2020

The saying "I'll sleep when I'm dead" may just not be a word from the wise. Adopting that mindset will lead you to death sooner and the quality of that life, will be worse. Scientists have started pushing research based evidence, in the direction of doctors and medical professionals, suggesting the importance of "prescribing" sleep. Sleep may just be the most painless and enjoyable "prescription" one can follow - and cheapest too boot! However, do not mistake this thought as to doctors prescribing more sleeping pills, as an aid; which actually has a negative affect on health and sleep - who would've thought! Believe it or not, but the lack of sleep can actually lead to death. 'For one, there is a very rare genetic disorder that starts with a progressive insomnia, emerging in midlife. Several months into the disease course the patient stops sleeping altogether. By this stage, they have started to lose many basic brain and body functions. No drugs that we currently have will help the patient sleep. After twelve to eighteen months of no sleep, the patient will die. Though very rare, this disorder confirms that a lack of sleep can kill a human being. Second is the deadly circumstance of driving without having sufficient sleep. Drowsy driving is the cause of hundreds of thousands of traffic accidents and deaths each year. Tragically, one person dies in a traffic accident every hour in the United States due to a fatigue-related error.' Below are some facts that may shock you, and convince you to get a longer nights rest tonight. Routinely sleeping less than six or seven hours a night: - Depletes your immune system, more than doubling your risk of cancer.

- Is a key lifestyle factor determining whether or not you will develop Alzheimer's disease.

- Disrupts blood sugar levels.

- Increases the likelihood of your coronary arteries becoming blocked and brittle, setting you on a path toward cardiovascular disease, stroke, and congestive heart failure.

- Contributes to all major psychiatric conditions, including depression, anxiety, and suicide.

- Your desire to eat is increase, which causes weight gain in adults and children alike. So, how many of you get the recommended 8-10 hours of sleep every night? Or any night of the week? Check out the book Why We Sleep by Matthew Walker. It will open your eyes on the importance of sleep and reaching optimal overall health! Stay tuned for more of an overview. Oh, and get some sleep! ;) Resources

Walker, M. (2017). Why We Sleep. Scribner.

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