Get to Sleep!

Courtesy of Pixabay

Just read a rather lengthy article on how the LACK of sleep can affect your health. Of course, many of us already know this, but do you know how MUCH it affects your health? And, more importantly, if you tend towards insomnia, are you doing anything about it?

According to Matthew Walker, a sleep scientist, lack of adequate sleep can trigger, among other things, Alzheimer’s disease, cancer, diabetes, obesity, and poor mental health. Pretty scary, huh?

What is sleep deprivation? According to Walker, it’s anything LESS than seven hours per night. How many of you reading this can testify you slept that many hours last night? Or any night?

A rather interesting statistic presented in the article is that in 1942, less than 8% of the population was trying to survive on six hours or less sleep at night — in 2017, almost one in two people is! Of course, most of us immediately would consider the stresses of work (which often includes commute time) as being one of the causes, but other factors enter in as well. For example, anxiety plays a part (we’re a lonelier, more depressed society) and of course, alcohol and caffeine come into play.

For some, lack of sleep is a badge of honor … “I only got four hours of sleep last night!” But Walker points out that the number of people who can survive on five hours of sleep or less without any impairment, expressed as a percent of the population and rounded to a whole number, is zero.

A rather unnerving part of the article included this:  adults aged 45 years or older who sleep less than six hours a night are 200% more likely to have a heart attack or stroke in their lifetime, as compared with those sleeping seven or eight hours a night. 

Lack of sleep also makes people more susceptible to weight gain. (Personal note: One look at the overall U.S. population and it would seem very few people are getting enough sleep!)

Another unsettling fact related to “short sleep” is that it can affect our cancer-fighting immune cells, as well as significantly raising the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease.

There is much more information related to sleep (or lack thereof) in the article. If you tend to be one of the people described, you may want to read it first-hand … particularly the suggestions Walker makes towards the end.

And finally, a couple of interesting facts related to sleep:

  • An adult sleeping only 6.75 hours a night would be predicted to live only to their early 60s without medical intervention.
  • A 2013 study reported that men who slept too little had a sperm count 29% lower than those who regularly get a full and restful night’s sleep.
  • If you drive a car when you have had less than five hours’ sleep, you are 4.3 times more likely to be involved in a crash. If you drive having had four hours, you are 11.5 times more likely to be involved in an accident.

The full article can be found here.

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15 thoughts on “Get to Sleep!

          • Nan, have you seen this new T-Mobile commercial? Lol

            I remember back in my Christian days when an evangelist came to speak at a seminar being put on by the church. He was from a large city. His family came with him. During a fellowship dinner being hosted by a church member, I overhead a conversation between one of the son’s of the visiting evangelist and the son of the dinner host. The evangelist’s son had spent the night there and didn’t get any sleep because of the cicadas. The host lived in the country.The city teen said:

            “I don’t know how you can sleep with the sounds of screaming cicadas.” The other teen replied — “I couldn’t sleep without it.”

            Liked by 2 people

            • HA! Yes indeed.

              I don’t know how you find all these videos! Of course, as I’ve mentioned before, I’m not much of a video-watcher so there could be hundreds of relevant ones to use that I would never see. Anyway, thanks for sharing.

              Like

      • You are fortunate … as am I. I’m generally asleep within 5-10 minutes after I turn off the light. I do wake up throughout the night, but most of the time I fall back asleep right away. However, after our move, I had a horrible time sleeping … I kept trying to remember which box held what stuff. lol

        Then someone recommended taking Magnesium at night . So I did and it’s totally helped. I’ve heard some people take it in the morning for energy. Seems to be a wonder-working supplement! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  1. In what seems another lifetime I was a truck driver. Been all over this beautiful country. I can tell you that lack of sleep causes the brain to do all kinds of weird things. I get to a certain point I can actually feel my brain misfiring, its like I cant focus on any one thing, thoughts jump from here to there and everywhere. It is extremely uncomfortable, and even when you realize you have had enough and decide to sleep, it can take an hour or more to finally fall asleep. It is like you get to a point you are too tired, and mentally out of it to sleep. I cannot function like that.

    Every time I have to take a trip on the interstate I see the evidence in tire tracks and extremely damaged guard rails of sleep deprivation.

    Anyone ever seen the fabled black dog? I have 🙂 You get to the point where your brain is well beyond needing its shutdown time, you can actually see things that aren’t there. The only time I saw that manifestation, I was fortunately an eigth of a mile from getting home, and to bed.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Wow! Scary story! And I’m sure it’s not an uncommon one among truck drivers. It’s probably a fluke that we don’t see more accidents involving semis. Thanks for the testimony.

    Of course, when you’re young and vibrant, it’s much more fun to “pah-ty” than worry about getting enough sleep. But unfortunately, it can come back to haunt you when you get older.

    Liked by 1 person

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