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Thursday, February 10, 2011

The Hidden Dangers of Sleep Deprivation

Wow. New research has been made concerning sleep deprivation and its effects on the human body, and the results aren't good. Apparently, if you sleep less than 6 hours a night, or have disturbed sleep, you could very well end up with heart problems (among other major illnesses) and have a greater chance of having a stroke later on in life:
The night before the Challenger space shuttle took off for its ill-fated final flight in January 1985, Nasa officials held a two-and-a-half-hour conference call with executives from the company that made the rocket boosters to discuss a potential fault. The subsequent investigation into the disaster, which killed all seven astronauts on board, concluded that poor decision-making at that meeting, which gave the go-ahead after much debate, was aggravated by the fact that two of the Nasa managers had been awake for 23 hours straight and had slept for no more than three hours the previous day.
Similar errors during long night shifts were implicated in the nuclear disasters at Three Mile Island and Chernobyl, as well as the Exxon Valdez oil spillage. Meanwhile, the AA says that more than 3,000 deaths and serious injuries on UK roads each year can be attributed to sleep deprivation – as many as for drink driving.
But new research published this week says that lack of sleep can harm us in more direct ways than, say, falling asleep at the wheel of a car. Researchers at Warwick medical school published a study in the European Heart Journal that linked disrupted sleep patterns to major health problems. "If you sleep less than six hours a night and have disturbed sleep you stand a 48% greater chance of developing or dying from heart disease and a 15% greater chance of developing or dying from a stroke," said lead author Professor Francesco Cappuccio.
Professor Jim Horne, director of Loughborough University's Sleep Research Centre, says the key to healthy sleeping is achieving at least six hours of "core" sleep a night – which includes the "deep" sleep during the first five hours of normal sleep. "Core sleep gradually gives way to what I rather loosely call 'optional' sleep, which maintains sleep until morning awakening. After about six hours of good sleep, all core sleep has usually disappeared." But he says that the idea of a "perfect" length of sleep is a myth: everyone is different. He therefore urges people not to assume that a few bad nights will give you heart disease or a stroke – with the subsequent worry only exacerbating your restlessness.
His tip for insomnia? Don't stay in bed: get up, leave the bedroom and do something distracting but mentally stimulating, such as a jigsaw.
Scary stuff. I know I usually forfeit sleep, either to stay up and work on assignments or get in some extra video game time. Sometimes, I'll go to bed early but I'll have a hard time going to sleep because my mind is racing with thoughts. I think I'll start getting more shuteye. I don't want heart disease :(

Article: http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/2011/feb/09/dangers-sleep-deprivation

29 comments:

  1. this is good to know, i often to with about 4 hours max a night.... thanks for posting

    http://randomramblingggg.blogspot.com

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  2. very interesting indeed. thanks for the post

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  3. Well having been in a 9-5 for what seems like an eternity (it's actually just the three years) I can safely say I get more than 6 hours.

    However, I'm still in that frame of mind of a student with tons of free time - I'll get in at say, 18:30 and eat, wash up, do laundry and before you know it it's 10pm and I want my 6 hours of xbox damnit!

    I think the worst part is not going to bed too late but forcing ourselves to wake up at ungodly hours - 6.30am for me but I know other people have it far worse.

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  4. Just a reminder that I need to get more sleep, though I am never tired until I wake up!

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  5. Oh... crap... I better follow up on these comments faster then, I might die at any time... o.o

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  6. Wow this must be new research, I've never heard of anything like this. That's fucked up

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  7. Oh no, I have a really bad sleep pattern. I sleep at around 3 am and wake up at 7.45am (that's about 5 hours sleep).

    Thanks for pointing this out. You probably saved me some years worth living.

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  8. Sleep deprivation is not a problem on this end. Good to know though.

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  9. do you have some infos about modafinil and sleep deprivation?

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  10. I don't remember the last time I got 6 hours sle-

    *heart attack*

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  11. Sleep is very crucial for your brain, and depriving someone from it can do some real damage.

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  12. It's actually possible for you to live healthily on around 4 hours sleep, provided you take it in one hour naps throughout the night.

    I wouldn't encourage the lifestyle though, I'm sure it has it's risks and it's much better to sleep normally.

    Anyway, very good article, I enjoyed reading it. Followed.

    Take a look at my blog sometime:
    http://riotoflegends.blogspot.com/

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  13. This is a very good article. I've been up for the past two days, maybe that wasn't such a good idea.

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  14. For someone who sleeps incredibly little this is disturbing.

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  15. very interesting

    http://oneblueyoyo.blogspot.com/

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  16. I'm glad I've read this article now, as I'm on over 24 hours without a wink of sleep, fueled on cigarettes and coffee.

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  17. Hmmm I guess it's too late for me. I'm 18 and I've staying up since I could remember and I'm already feeling the effects in my heart, even now as I'm typing. Wish me luck guys :(

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  18. I get about 8 hours minimum, nice article, gonna warn my friend :(

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  19. i hate not being able to sleep, but it happens. recently i'll still feel awake with my eyes closed and just start dreaming while still having feeling in my face. i just need to sleep longer at night...

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  20. Oh man. The amount of sleep I get is way too little...

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  21. I've posted a picture with a "brain hack" on how to sleep for 4 hours a day. Have a look:

    http://noobotorials-rocks.blogspot.com/2011/02/ultimate-brain-hack.html

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  22. LOL, you made me realize I'm going to die really soon... I sleep like 4-6 hours a day. ;X

    btw, I'm following your blog... take a look at mine and follow me if you want :)
    http://rolledapriest.blogspot.com

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  23. Huh, does anyone know if the "Hours of sleep before midnight are 2x as important as the hours after" myth is real?

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  24. well that was eyeopening.

    dudebro24.blogspot.com

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  25. nice weekend bro!!

    I wait on my blog!!

    fallowing and supporting man!!

    RESPECT

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