/publications/issue/2004/2004-10/2004-10-4631

Absence of Shut-Eye Leads to Health Problems

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Drowsiness is not the only problem related to lack of sleep. Increases in blood pressure and levels of stress hormones are 2 of the short-term health effects associated with too little sleep, according to an article published in the Harvard Health Letter (August 2004). The article explained that when the body is sleep deprived it has more difficulty processing blood sugar and has reduced levels of leptin, an appetite-suppressing hormone. As a result, these changes can increase the risk of weight gain and diabetes. Lack of sleep also increases inflammation in the body, which is a key factor in the development of heart disease.

The Harvard Health Letter offers the following tips on how individuals may improve sleep: