I haven’t talked a great deal about sleep deprivation, so when I came across this article on Medscape, I thought the overview of the various epidemiologic findings related to sleeping less than 6 hours was worth reviewing:
“Sleep deprivation has a profound impact on multiple disease states. For example, if you sleep less than 6 hours, epidemiologic studies show the following:
• Stroke is increased by a factor of 4 times.
• Obesity is increased by an increase in ghrelin, which is a hunger hormone.
• Diabetes is increased because sleep deprivation increases insulin resistance.
• Memory loss is accelerated. Epidemiologic studies show that there is not only permanent cognitive loss but also evidence of early brain deterioration.
• Osteoporosis is increased, at least in an animal model, with changes in bone mineral density. Even changes in bone marrow are evident within 3 months of a study in a rat model.
• Cardiac disease is increased. There is a 48% increase in early cardiac death, as well as increased cardiac-related mortality.
• A 4-fold overall increase in mortality.
As it relates to gastrointestinal disease, there is an increased risk for colon cancer, and at least 1 epidemiologic study shows an association between sleep deprivation (or lack of sleep) and an increase in the likelihood of precancerous (adenomatous) polyps.”
The author also summarized the results of this finding that sleep deprived mice had higher rates of tumor growth.
More and more studies are linking sleep deprivation and obstructive sleep apnea with numerous medical conditions, including cancer.
If you sleep less than 6 hours, something else to sleep on…