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Go to Sleep: Your Health Depends On It

Go to Sleep: Your Health Depends On It

The nightly refrain from parents around the globe, “go to sleep” is packed with more urgency than ever. Sleep is being recognized as an essential aspect of chronic disease prevention and our kids are especially vulnerable and need to get a good night’s sleep for their future health and well-being.

Top 6 Reasons To Go To Sleep:

1. Maintaining your weight – Getting a good night’s sleep can help you maintain your optimal weight.. Studies indicate that individuals who receive less sleep consume more calories and expend less energy. Insufficient sleep can alter appetite and hunger related hormones. A study reported in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition concluded sleepy men consumed up to 22% more calories than their well-rested counterparts.

2. Childhood Obesity – A recent study at the University of California and University of Washington show children age four and under are twice as likely to be overweight or obese by the age of 9 if they get less than 10 hours of sleep a night. These studies suggest a “critical window” when a toddlers nighttime sleep helps determine their future weight status. Theories for this include: kids that don’t get enough sleep are too tired to engage in physical activities, kids that are not sleeping have more opportunities to snack and similar to adults, kids that receive insufficient amounts of sleep have altered levels of appetite and hunger related hormones.

3. Diabetes – Research has found that insufficient sleep is linked to an increased risk for the development of Type 2 diabetes. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) the quality and length of sleep are emerging as predictors of Hemoglobin A1c, an important marker of blood sugar control.

4. Heart Disease – Irregularities in sleeping patterns, such as sleep apnea increase the risk for a number of cardiovascular diseases. Adults with sleep apnea have an increased risk for cardiovascular disease such as hypertension, stroke, coronary heart disease and cardiac arrhythmias.

5. Depression – The relationship between sleep and depression is complex. Inability to sleep is a symptom of depression but those who cannot get enough sleep often become depressed. According to the National Sleep Foundation sleep problems and depression share many risk factors and biological features. Many times the two conditions respond to some of the same treatment strategies. Therefore the sleep component must be evaluated when evaluating patients with symptoms of depression.

6. Drowsiness – Drowsiness on the job is dangerous. Whether it is the long-distance truck driver on the highway or the physician resident in the Emergency Room sleep deprived professionals make mistakes, cause accidents and the consequences can be deadly. Even one night of unfulfilling rest can cause a worker to be irritable or impatient which can lead to loss of productivity.

According to CDC more than 25% of the US population reports not getting enough sleep while nearly 10% report they experience chronic insomnia. Sleep can no longer be regarded as a luxury but rather should be viewed as an essential component of a persons overall health and current and future disease prevention. So go ahead and sleep like a baby – your health depends on it!