Does chronic sleep loss increase your risk of disease?

  1. I found this article to be interesting:

    http://www.sciencenews.org/20020907/bob9.asp

    Many of the things they say in the article make intuitive sense to me. I have noticed in myself that when I am running a sleep deficit I tend to eat a lousy diet. Our culture tends to regard sleep as time wasted. Napping is regarded as slothful. Getting up early is a virtue. I have a feeling we would all be healthier if we gave ourselves permission for a little siesta.

    Do you get 8 hours? Are you a napper?
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  2. 12 Comments

  3. by   OBNURSEHEATHER
    Interesting article aimeee! I'm a firm believer that lack of sleep produces a general decline in overall health. I can tell when I'm not getting enough sleep. Constant colds, general malaise, frequent headaches, etc. And honestly, it's poor emotional health as well as physical. Laziness, lack of energy and motivation.... all just lead to depression.

    I agree we would all be alot healthier if we were better rested, instead of only feeling productive if we're exhausted.

    It's rare that I actually get 8 hours, but I'm a siesta girl. I just luuuuuuuv a good nap!



    Heather
  4. by   Lausana
    Ugh. I rarely get enough sleep...6-6.5 hrs a night. Naps only on the weekend It usually catches up with my by Saturday & if I don't get a chance for extra rest I get either cold symptoms or nausea...I also get a zit. Guaranteed, if I'm up real late...My skin punishes me the next morning.

    (I'm all for naps...in fact I said yesterday if I were president for a day, I'd institute them into the day...so vote for me! :chuckle )

    oops...just noticed I didn't answer your original question, but you get the idea...good article though...hmmm, I wouldn't mind participating in a sleep study ahhh catching zzz's
    Last edit by Lausana on Sep 10, '02
  5. by   nightingale
    Funny to read this now, as I realize I need a nap this PM. I run chronically on less sleep then I need, usually about 5 hours. When I do have time off, like today, I will take a nap or two. WARNING: do not put me in a dark warm spot for too long as I will fall asleep on ya!

    Great article Amy!

    B.
  6. by   SmilingBluEyes
    I KNOW it does from personal experience, and I sure did not need a study to tell me so. But it was an interesting article, nonetheless,and I thank you!
  7. by   karenelizabeth
    there was also a study that showed that people that workes iregular hours (ie nursing shifts) particually nights had a shorter life expectamcy too

  8. by   SmilingBluEyes
    yep and increased risk of breast ca among night shift female workers. kinda scary. glad i am only perdiem!
  9. by   aimeee
    There was another story a while back that looked at how sleep patterns had changed in the last 100 years. People used to get up in the middle of the night and tend to the fire or deal with livestock, etc. It said our natural pattern is to sleep about half the night, then go into a wakeful state or a very light sleep for a couple hours and then back into a deep sleep again until morning. Much of our modern difficulty with sleep tends to occur at that light/wakeful stage. We tend to toss and turn or lie awake with our troubles going through our heads, or we worry that we aren't sleeping because we know we have to get up at a certain time. After I read that I started observing my own patterns and it was true that I tended to come into that wakeful state just about the same time each night. When I had difficulty getting back to sleep, instead of fighting it I would get up and do some really boring stuff, or I would just relax and rest telling myself it was normal. It really helped to just go with the flow of my body's normal rhythm.
  10. by   Nurse Ratched
    Lausana - I get the zit effect, too. Pulled my first gray hair recently. I'll tolerate one or the other, but NOT both at the same time!
  11. by   Vsummer1
    This issue is an entire unit of Nursing 101. Basic nursing theory! And I will be tested on it.
  12. by   live4today
    I believe that chronic sleep loss does indeed increase one's risk of disease....especially those who work against their bodies natural circadian rhythm......which is why I will never work nightshifts again.

    I am up at 11:39 p.m. (that's what time it is now here in TX) because I can't sleep right now. So...I will fool around here for a bit, then try sleeping again. Hubby and doggie are snoring zzzzzzzz's as I write. :chuckle Lucky dogs.....literally speaking! :chuckle
  13. by   RNinICU
    I am one of those people who will go on 4-5 hours of sleep for days at a time, and then catch up on my day off by sleeping 10-12 hours. I tend to get minor illnesses more often when I am sleep deprived, and also get more UTIs. I am much more emotional when I am overly tired. I tend to feel overwhelmed more frequently, and cry over everything. Thanks for the interesting article.
  14. by   cactus wren
    Do I get 8 hours of sleep? Rarely, very rarely. Do I wish I did? For sure.........i feel so much more together when I do. Had to learn how to program vcr, that helped, as to get my "8", i have to get to bed by 9. Naps??? Oh, how i love naps........But..........admin just doesn`t think the way I do....... So I guess they are not an option while at work. But on Days off......you bet, a short nap just revializes a person.....
    Don`t get zits when short on sleep, but will kill for a glazed doughnut or 2 or 3....krispy Kremes, please.

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