Absence of Shut-Eye Leads to Health Problems
Published Online: Friday, October 1, 2004 [ ]
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
- Establish a regular bedtime schedule
in order to set the body's internal clock.
- Regular exercise can help an individual
get a good night's sleep, but do not
exercise within 3 hours of bedtime.
- Try to reduce consumption of coffee,
tea, and other caffeinated beverages
and avoid them during the afternoon
- If an individual's sleep is interrupted
with having to urinate during the night,
try drinking more fluids in the morning
and afternoon and limiting fluid intake
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