In our “Sleep Series” today we look at the serious health effects of a lack of sleep and insomnia. A serious lack of sleep can result in a direct effect on clinical depression, obesity, stroke, diabetes and cancer.
The following is an excerpt from the interview between Dr Rubin Naiman and Dr Buczunski at the National Institute for the Clinical Application of Behavioural Medicine:
“There is very compelling data showing that insomnia, a year of off and on poor sleep, is the single, strongest predictive fact in clinical depression.”
There is very compelling data showing that insomnia, a year of off and on poor sleep is the single, strongest predictive fact in clinical depression. Many of us of course, were taught in graduate school and after that insomnia was a classic symptom of depression and that may be, but the data today is raising a question about whether or not depression is a classic symptom of insomnia, as virtually all depressed people have some sort of sleep disorder. So, it impacts on mood of course.
“Short-sleepers have a 50% increased risk for viral infection.”
We know that there is a profound connection between chronic sleep loss and our physical health. Short sleepers, people who sleep an average of five or six hours or less per night, have a 50% increased risk for viral infection. This is probably true for other kinds of infection too because short sleeping has a profound impact on our immune function.
We see a very strong correlation now between insufficient sleep and increases in cardiovascular disease. We see increases of stroke, high blood pressure, and heart attack. There is a very, very interesting and strong link between diabetes and metabolic disorders in general and being a short sleeper…
And surprising to some maybe not for others, the American Cancer Society did a study of a million American adults and found a correlation, no cause and affect evidence, but a very compelling strong correlation between being a short sleeper and increases in cancers across the board. So that the big picture is that sleep is fundamental to health, along with exercise, nutrition and stress management.”