The Hazards of Losing Sleep

Published: 15th January 2010
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III. If You Want To Lose Weight, Don't Just Focus On Your Diet

Want to know a secret? The road to a good figure is not just eating food in low quantity and exercising on a regular basis;
it's having a proper lifestyle. I'm not a fitness expert, mind you, but health studies are giving more and more evidence
supporting a link between how many hours of sleep you get and your tendency to be obese.

A study led by Dr. Steven Heymsfield of Columbia University amd St. Luke's-Roosevelt Hospital in New York, and James
Gangwisch, a Columbia epidemiologist, showed that those who had less that 4 hours of sleep were more likely to be obese by
73%, while those with an average of 5 hours of sleep had 50% greater risk. Those who only had 6 hours had 23% more.

The reason? Blame it on grehlin, a substance that makes people want to eat more food.

If people don't have the recommended amount of shut-eye, their leptin levels are lowered.

Leptin is a blood protein that suppresses their appetite, and seems to affect how their body had eaten enough.

So don't think that dieting is the only way for a nice build; include getting sufficient sleep in your regimen from now on.

IV. And More Diseases, Too

If you're already tired of reading about the dire consequences you will face when you don't give yourself the right amount of
rest, here are a few more for your information.

When your body is deprived of the sleep it needs, your chances of getting coronary heart disease double compared to people who have an adequate amount of sleep.

And if you're a male, read on. You'd be interested to know that men who are sleep deprived are risking themselves for an erectile dysfunction. That happens when their testosterone levels drop due to a few hours of sleep, making it more difficult to maintain an erection.

For older people aged 53-93, there's a risk of developing diabetes. That's what a study co-authored by Dr. Daniel Gottlieb, an associate professor of medicine at Boston University claimed.

Published in the Archives of Internal Medicine, the findings concluded that elders who slept fewer than 5 hours were 2.5
times more likely to acquire the sweet disease against those who had 6 hours, who had chances 1.7 times lower.

But don't think that sleeping too much will solve the problem, though. The study showed that overslept elders - those who had more than 9 hours of sleep - had chances 1.7 times higher.

Lastly, sleeplessness causes an individual to have an impaired spatial learning, such as getting to a new destination. This
finding, which appeared on the Journal of Neurophysiology, suggested that during the process of spatial learning, new brain cells are being produced in an area of the brain called Hippocampus. Sleep is important in helping these brain cells survive.

V. Conclusion

We all know that sleep plays a major part in one's overall well-being, and now that we know exactly what we are likely facing
when we have lack of it, where do we go from here?

It seems that more research is needed in the area of sleep medicine, and public awareness must be raised for everyone to understand that, despite all the obligations, late night TV shows and caffeinated drinks, getting sufficient sleep is really,
really important for everyone, young or old. And as for you reading this article, I bet you agree.

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