Home » The Impact of Sleep Deprivation on Your Brain, Heart, Lungs, and Overall Health: What You Need to Know

The Impact of Sleep Deprivation on Your Brain, Heart, Lungs, and Overall Health: What You Need to Know

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The Impact of Sleep Deprivation on Your Brain, Heart, Lungs, and Overall Health: What You Need to Know

Not getting enough sleep or interruptions can affect your brain, heart, and lungs, as well as your metabolism, mood, and immune system.

Sleep is as essential to human survival and well-being as food and water. Sleep influences almost every aspect of the body, affecting the brain, heart and lungs, as well as metabolism, mood and the immune system. Physical, emotional and mental health depend, in part, on good sleep.

However, today almost a third of the population cannot sleep within the recommended range of 7 to 9 hours a night. It was discovered that 31% of adults sleep less than recommended by sleep medicine specialists.

The finding arises from a global study with more than 67,000 participants. It was published in the journal Sleep Health and conducted by researchers from Australia and France. They used a sensor installed on the participants’ mattresses.

It revealed that only 15% of people slept the recommended 7-9 hours for five or more nights a week. Among those who averaged 7-9 hours per night during the nine-month follow-up period, about 40% of nights fell outside the ideal range.

“This is crucial because not getting enough sleep – or possibly too much sleep – is associated with harmful effects, and we are only just realizing the consequences of irregular sleep,” said Dr Hannah Scott, a Flinders University researcher and first author of the work.

In dialogue with Infobae, Dr. Daniel Pérez-Chada, director of the Sleep Clinic of the Austral University Hospital and president of the Argentine Sleep Foundation, highlighted: “Although we already know that the hours dedicated to sleep have been reduced, the new study was done with a large number of participants who were evaluated in their homes, through position sensors on their mattresses. When done at home, it is real-world research in people’s natural habitat, which allows many nights of sleep to be monitored.”

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It was identified that there is irregularity in sleep schedules – that is, falling asleep at the same time every day – and that conspires against the consolidation of effective sleep.

Regarding the sensors, Pérez-Chada recalled that they have been compared before with polysomnography technology. “They are not as precise as polysomnography, but they have a good correlation for monitoring. These sensors are now freely available. They have benefits, but in some people they generate anxiety because they cannot sleep the recommended hours,” she said.

When you don’t get enough sleep, you suffer from sleep deprivation. Lack of sleep can affect whether you sleep poorly one night or sleep poorly on a regular basis.

In the short term, lack of sleep affects mood, judgment, and ability to concentrate. If you don’t sleep well, you will have difficulty remembering things and be more prone to making mistakes in school or work activities.

In the long term, lack of sleep is associated with chronic health problems such as diabetes, hypertension, stroke, obesity, depression, and heart and kidney disease. Lack of sleep also increases the risk of injuries, such as traffic accidents.

Sleeping less than six hours on average per night is associated with a higher risk of mortality and multiple conditions, such as hypertension, obesity and heart disease. Sleeping less than 7 hours and more than 9 hours a day has been linked to adverse health and well-being, including digestive and neurobehavioral deficits.

Participants in the study were 67,254 adults (52,523 men, 14,731 women), primarily from Europe and North America. They agreed to have a sensor under their mattress during monitoring.

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“It is clear that achieving the recommended sleep duration range is often a challenge for many people, especially during the work week,” Scott noted.

Flinders’ research group used sleep tracking data collected by a sensor placed under the mattress to examine sleep durations over the 9-month period in nearly 68,000 adults around the world.

The sample consisted of 67,254 adults (52,523 men, 14,731 women), mainly from Europe and North America, who had the sensor under their mattress.

The researchers called on public health authorities to promote actions that promote good sleep.
In general, women slept longer than men, and middle-aged people slept less than young or old people.

“Based on these results, public health and advocacy efforts should support the community and individuals to sleep more regularly within the recommended limits for their age,” said co-author Professor Danny Eckert, a research fellow principal at the Australian National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) and director of Sleep Health research at Flinders University.

“We also need to help people resolve chronic sleep difficulties and encourage everyone to make sleep a priority,” Eckert stressed.

Researchers’ tips to get a restful sleep are:

– Try to maintain a regular sleep schedule.
– Avoid consuming caffeine and alcohol in the afternoon and evening.
– Consult a health professional if you have trouble falling asleep or staying asleep.

For those who do not suffer from sleep disorders, following good sleep hygiene may be beneficial. Avoiding caffeine and alcohol close to bedtime can help improve sleep quality.

If you are concerned about sleep problems, consult your family doctor. Treatment options are available for various sleep disorders such as sleep apnea and insomnia. When diagnosed, patients may be referred to specialist sleep professionals.

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