5 Serious Health Risks From Too Little Sleep

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We all love the feeling of flopping into our bed at the end of a long, hard day. Our bodies do a good job of telling us it’s time to catch some shuteye, and there’s a good reason that some of the signals we get are so disruptive to our activities – like falling asleep while you are trying to finish up some late-night work or school assignment. While most of us can get away with making sleep a low priority in our lives for now, there may be many hidden consequences of sleep deprivation that might not make themselves known for years to come. We used to think that we could skimp on sleep and “catch up” later on, but that’s a belief that appears to be more fantasy than fact. The health risks of missing out on sleep are very real, and can be quite serious. Consider these consequences that could result from getting too little sleep.

1. Obesity

It’s been known for many years that being overweight can have very serious health consequences. As medical science learns more about the risks associated with obesity, the picture does not get any prettier. Obesity dramatically increases the risk of type 2 diabetes, high cholesterol and triglycerides, high blood pressure, gallstones, coronary artery disease, sleep apnea and stroke, and those are just some of the most common health problems associated with obesity. Medial research has revealed that there is a link between lack of sleep and a higher-than-normal body mass index (BMI). People who are seriously sleep-deprived, and were able to get between two and four hours of sleep per night were 73 percent more likely to have a high BMI. Those who were able to get between five hours of quality sleep per night were 50 percent more likely to have an elevated BMI. And those getting six hours of sleep per night were 23 percent more likely to have a higher BMI. Researchers believe that lack of sufficient sleep causes an imbalance of two hormones called leptin and ghrelin, which causes increased appetite, and makes it harder to feel satisfied after eating.

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