Absence of Shut-Eye Leads to Health Problems
Drowsiness is not the only problemrelated to lack of sleep. Increases in bloodpressure and levels of stress hormonesare 2 of the short-term health effects associatedwith too little sleep, according to anarticle published in the Harvard HealthLetter (August 2004). The articleexplained that when the body is sleepdeprived it has more difficulty processingblood sugar and has reduced levels ofleptin, an appetite-suppressing hormone.As a result, these changes can increasethe risk of weight gain and diabetes. Lackof sleep also increases inflammation inthe body, which is a key factor in thedevelopment of heart disease.
The Harvard Health Letter offers thefollowing tips on how individuals mayimprove sleep:
- Establish a regular bedtime schedulein order to set the body's internal clock.
- Regular exercise can help an individualget a good night's sleep, but do notexercise within 3 hours of bedtime.
- Try to reduce consumption of coffee,tea, and other caffeinated beveragesand avoid them during the afternoonand evening.
- If an individual's sleep is interruptedwith having to urinate during the night,try drinking more fluids in the morningand afternoon and limiting fluid intakeafter dinner.