A study of approximately 2,600 adults between 40 and 70 years old conducted over a two-year period has uncovered disturbing evidence about the long-term impact of ‘short’ sleep.
Dr. Jang Young Kim of Yonsei University in South Korea led two lifestyle studies, both of which required people to document their sleep patterns. He found that people who slept less than six hours at night developed diseases such as high blood pressure, high blood sugar, high cholesterol, and metabolic syndrome.
Metabolic syndrome is categorised by excess fat in and around the abdomen, hypertension, low levels of ‘good’ cholesterol, increased risk of obesity and pre-diabetic conditions.
Essentially, lack of sleep in the long term can seriously impair your ability to manage your health.
According to the results of this study published in the journal ‘Sleep‘, the people who developed metabolic syndrome and cardiovascular disease were those that had reported consistently less than six hours sleep over the 2-year period.
Although the study done by the University in South Korea relied on participants to recall and report their sleep patterns, the results are consistent with studies done elsewhere. In research done at the University of Newcastle, a study found that people became insulin resistant after several nights of sleep deprivation. Again, in this study less than six hours was the defining risk zone for significant metabolism issues, where they found that the body’s fat, liver, and muscle cells did not respond correctly to insulin.
These studies confirm to our surprise that sleep deprivation alone can be a major contributor of metabolic syndrome, weight gain and the onset of obesity and diabetes. More reasons to put down the smartphone, computer and TV remote and woo yourself to bed and sleep.
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