Sleeping is so relaxing and a heavenly joy and we spend almost a third of our lives much like eating to survive.
With our busy lifestyles and as our responsibility starts to grow both personal and professional. That includes family, relationship, finances, health, deadlines and other daily challenges in life, and most of the times result in lack of sleep because it overwhelms us and makes us worry.
.Perhaps, working late and staying in the office after our shift makes us more productive. but no. We understand that sometimes we can’t avoid working late at night because there is a deadline to catch. But did you know that you are putting your health at risk because you have a lack of sleep?
You might not be aware that you’re a good candidate in acquiring deadly diseases if you have sleep deprivation.
Let’s admit it, As a working adult Sleeping is one of the expensive commodities. Now, as a grown-up adult, sleeping is something that we truly appreciate and wish we have all the entire day doing it.
A quick 30- minute power nap will help you recharge, improve your alertness and performance.
I was 14 years old, a second-year High School student. I learned that I had a Rheumatic Heart Disease(RHD), a heart condition in which the heart valves have been permanently damaged by rheumatic fever. The heart valve damage may start shortly after untreated or under-treated streptococcal infection such as strep throat or scarlet fever. An immune response causes an inflammatory condition in the body which can result in on-going valve damage.
Rheumatic Fever, in case you are wondering, is an inflammatory disease that can develop when strep throat or scarlet fever isn’t properly treated. Strep throat and scarlet fever are caused by an infection with streptococcus (strep-toe-KOK-us) bacteria.
As a kid, I was getting tonsilitis frequently and that leads to fever. My parents thought it was just a simple fever and can be ignored that once it’s all gone. All is good and all is well. Thought that gargling warm water with salt is a remedy for my swollen throat. Little did my parents know that we are heading for a more serious health problem.
I worked in a Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) industry for 5 years straight Nigh Shift Schedule. I was only getting less than the recommended required sleep, most of the time, and sometimes I didn’t get enough sleep at all. I was in my early 20s, pretending that I was healthy like most of my friends I know. I did not know that lacking sleep, would lead me to something more serious health issue, STROKE.
So if you’re young and healthy, professional or student working in the same industry, not necessarily BPO but a role that needs you to stay up. Remember to give yourself enough time to rest and sleep.
Now, As a parent, my daughter might not understand why we are trying to limit her phone usage and staying up
Please continue reading.
Top 5 Deadly Diseases caused by Lack of Sleep
Lacking one good night sleep could lead to an instant increase in beta-amyloid, it is a sticky chemical that forms into a plaque and form together and blocks the communication of neurons and brain cells and a primary cause of Alzheimers Disease.
According to Alzheimers Association, Alzheimer’s Disease is a progressive type of dementia that causes problems in memory, thinking, and behavior. Where a loss of memory that may prevent you to carry out your daily life which is caused by brain cell death.
Dementia, on the other hand, is a decline in memory and other thinking abilities.
There are multiple Risk factors that may influence an individual to suffer from this disease like Age, Sex, Genetic Factors, Head Injury and other factors like race, profession, and Lifestyle. Alzheimer’s Disease is not only caused by a single factor but a combination of many.
People over 65 years old and even younger can develop the disease.
Obesity and Diabetes
Poor Sleep Quality and Sleep loss were identified as new Risk Factors for Obesity and women are more likely to be obese than men. According to studies, your weight tells how much time you spend time in sleeping.
Lack of sleep leads to tiredness and eventually decreases your desire to move that results to less physical activity and you opted to just simply stay in your bed.
Real scenario: You’re in the office for your night shift, you really feel sleepy, your first option is to either grab a cup of coffee (cups of coffee) and few pieces of doughnuts to at least pump you up and since you were loaded with sweets and caffeine, and you eventually can no longer sleep. What if this will be your routine for a few weeks, months or years consuming the same amount of food and drink, loaded with sugar and lacking Exercise, physical activity?
You will become Obese and eventually be suffering from Type 2 Diabetes.
Take care of your heart by having a complete sleep of 8 hours.
People who are sleeping 7 to 8hours plays a big role in avoiding High Blood Pressure but those people who are lacking sleep, who sleep less than the recommended hours, has the higher chance of getting a High Blood Pressure.
High Blood Pressure also known as Hypertension is a very common word that we hear from older people and this is considered a Silent Killer. If Hypertension is not managed properly, could lead to Stroke and Cardiovascular Diseases(CVD), this includes:
- Coronary Heart Disease(CHD)
- Rheumatic Heart Disease (RHD)
- Cerebrovascular Disease
- Congenital Heart Disease
- Deep Vein Thrombosis
- Pulmonary embolism
Prostate and Breast Cancer
For adults, getting a complete 7-8 hours of sleep a night is an essential part of healing, proper immune function, and mental health.
Loss of Sleep has always been associated with Obesity, Diabetes, Stroke, Heart Disease, and Cancer.
According to new study getting regular fewer hours of sleep like 6 hours each night could increase your chance of getting breast cancer.
During sleep, a hormone called melatonin which is released by our brain. Melatonin contains antioxidant properties that help prevent damage, to cells that lead to cancer. Logically speaking, the lesser you spend on Sleeping the little melatonin you have and may lead to cancer. Also, melatonin controls the release of estrogen, so as the minimal release of melatonin, the estrogen rises. While the estrogen rises, the chance of prostate and breast cancer cells to grow.
“If you sleep less than six hours per 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.”
Make sleep as one of your priorities, as sleeping is the cheapest investment you can do to your body, HEALTH.
Chronic Sleep Disorder leads to many different health issues like Obesity, type 2 Diabetes, Heart Disease, Cancer, and Stroke. People who sleep five hours or less than the recommended Sleep have a higher risk of developing High Blood Pressure.
If High Blood Pressure (Hypertension) is uncontrolled, this could lead to Stroke. Hypertension is the leading and major cause of Stroke.
According to WHO, stroke is included among the top 10 deadly diseases that claimed 6.7 million lives after Coronary Artery Disease (CAD).
What Professions and Individuals that are at Risk
I know a few people who preferred to work on a night shift or some other calls it graveyard shift. And their reasons could be acceptable and practical like the traffic is a bit lighter, not too hot to travel and most of all is there is what they call Night Differential. Night Differential Pay is an additional rate on top of your basic pay.
Many professionals do not realize the risks of Sleep Deprivation. That you might be earning extra cash but that extra cash is good for your hospitalization because your work is killing you. Increasing research results that might actually be the case in the run. A few more factors that add to this are your lifestyle, like Smoking to keep you awake and alcohol to help you sleep early. Professionals who are in this type of job have decreased time for Exercise and unhealthy eating habits, unnatural body positions, Stress that might lead you to gain some extra weight and High Blood Pressure.
Falling asleep on the job, difficulty staying alert and impaired motor skills are hazardous to your work environment.
Here are the professions that are higher Risks of Sleep Deprivation :
Professionals in this field have a lot of responsibilities for the safety of others and which required to work for long hours, which is disruptive for their wake and sleep patterns. Air traffic controllers, pilots, and Truck Drivers.
High amounts of concentration are required to perform their jobs in addition to high stress they encounter on a daily basis where their schedules do not prioritize sleep, Nurses generally work morning, noon or night shifts/rotations and are required to be present always. this is required to take care of their patients that needs assistance on a daily basis. Most medical residents if not all are deprived of sleep. Interns are expected to cover up to 80 hours per week that can last up to 28 hours
In the rise of technology, high in demands. Factory workers are expected to work long hours, night shifts. there is news that Chinese manufacturing companies, expected their workers to work 12 hours, six-day a week working schedule and unpaid overtime. Grueling schedule such as this has become widely spreading in Chinese companies that is commonly referred to as 996: Work schedule starts from nine in the morning to nine in the evening, six days a week
If you think, employees are the only one who is deprived of Sleep. Business owners as well who are under constant stress because they are often expected to be the last person to leave the door. Business Leaders, like top Managers, are not getting enough sleep as well. Individuals who Constantly do this will eventually have difficulties handling stress, think ing straight, solve problems, work efficiency and lead the Organization with confidence.
- Internet and communication service operators
- Network administrators
- Plant managers
- Foodservice supervisors
- Police officers and other first responders
- Computer programmers
- Financial analysts
Practical Tips on how to Sleep Fast
1. Increase Bright Light Exposure During the Day
2. Reduce Blue light Exposure
Emits by electronic devices like Smartphones and computers.
3. Reduce caffeine
Caffeine is a natural substance that can be extracted from plants that can cause serious sleep problems.
4. Optimize your Bedroom Environment.
Many people believe that the room environment has a huge impact on the quality of their sleep, considering the temperature, noise, and lights. Newly washed bedsheets can also contribute to the quality of your sleep because you feel cleaner as well as Getting a comfortable Bed, Mattress and pillow Combining all these changes that you’re about to do can hugely make a whole a lot of improvements on the quality of your sleep.
5. Don’t eat late in the evening.
This may impact negatively the natural release of melatonin. Late-night Snack might play a role as well.
6. Relax and clear your mind
Relaxation, including the muscles of your entire face and inside your mouth, dropping your shoulders to release the tension and let your hands drop to the side of your body exhale. Strategies include listening to relaxing music, reading a book, taking a shower or how about a body full massage? Or maybe try a different method that works best for you.
Benefits of Sleep:
- Healthier Heart
- Cancer Prevention
- Fights Stress
- Reduces Inflammation
- Makers you more Alert and Alive
- Improves your Memory
- May help you lose weight
- Napping Refreshes your Memory
- Reduce Risk of Depression
- Helps to repair your Body.