We all know that not getting enough sleep can leave you feeling poorly and decrease your mental function, but according to this month’s Today’s Dietitian magazine, lack of sleep or poor sleep quality is a leading factor in many chronic illnesses. Numerous studies have linked not having enough sleep or having a condition that decreases sleep quality (such as obstructive sleep apnea and restless leg syndrome) with many chronic diseases, including obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and insulin resistance. In turn, having diabetes or being obese contributes to poor sleep quality and sleep apnea, further complicating the situation.
Our bodies were made to require 8-10 hours of sleep each night (varies with age and between persons) but the average American gets little more than 6 1/2 hours each night. It’s hard to predict what this degree of sleep deprivation may lead to in the long run, since 100 years ago the average person got 1 1/2 hours more sleep than the average person today.
So, get in bed a little earlier tonight and enjoy a full night’s rest – to your health!
Information from: Today’s Dietitian Magazine, May 2008 issue