Sleep deprivation can have a serious negative impact on your health. Getty Images
New research found when healthy men in their 20s got only 5 hours of sleep per night, the way their bodies metabolized fat shifted.
Rather than evaporating triglyceride-rich lipoproteins that have been linked to the formation of clogging and dangerous fatty plaques in the arteries, their bodies began storing them.
Additional research has found the number of people who aren’t getting a healthy amount of sleep each night continues to rise.
Sleep deprivation over a period of time has been linked to several serious health conditions including hypertension, obesity, diabetes, and a suppressed immune system.
We’re not getting enough sleep — and that’s having a significant impact on our day-to-day and long-term health.
From mental health to how our bodies store fat, recent research is adding to evidence that illustrates how much sleep deprivation can, and is, impacting our individual and collective health, particularly in the United States.
It’s been well-documented that getting adequate sleep helps strengthen our immune system and is associated with a decreased risk of cardiovascular and metabolic diseases, including obesity and type 2 diabetes.
One such way sleep deprivation hurts u
Specifically, how it affected their postprandial lipemia, or the rise of triglyceride-rich lipoproteins that’s been linked to the formation of clogging and dangerous fatty plaques in the arteries.
What the researchers found wasn’t good.
Experts are still unable to pinpoint exactly why getting enough sleep is a problem, but they say stress from work not only impacts our sleep, but that lack of sleep makes our jobs more stressful.
Who gets the least amount of sleep?
Between 45 and 50 percent of people working in the healthcare field and the police and military reported being sleep deprived.
Forty-one percent of people in transport, material moving, and production occupations reported the same thing.
That’s of particular concern considering these high-stress jobs often result in life-or-death decisions made in windows lasting only seconds — from avoiding accidents on the road to de-escalating a potentially fatal encounter.
It doesn’t help that they also typically involve long and odd hours, making a routine sleep pattern more difficult.
not only is inadequate sleep associated with mild to severe physical and mental health problems, injury, loss of productivity, and premature mortality, but there’s no definitively known cause found for why fewer people are getting the sleep they need.
said one thing employers can do is take steps to make sure their workers are getting enough rest.
“Sadly, poor sleep also affects our mood,” she said.
Over a long period of time, more hours of lost rest increase a person’s risk of accidents and an overall poor quality of life, Makekau said.
Physically that can translate to not only obesity and diabetes, but also high blood pressure, a suppressed immune system, low sex drive, and an overall chance of death apart from any other medical condition.
Mentally that can lead to anxiety, depression, paranoia, and even hallucinations.
In children, a lack of sleep can lead to hyperactivity, which could be confused as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
Screen time can also impact sleep
Some of the most common reasons people give Makekau for missing sleep is work and social responsibilities, which include overusing personal technology to stay up to date on social media.
Those ubiquitous screens, whether it be phones, tablets, computers, or televisions, emit a blue light that messes with our sleep patterns.
It’s recommended to avoid those glowing screens an hour — 2, ideally — before bedtime.
But using technology by setting a sleep alarm telling you it’s time to climb into a comfortable bed in a quiet, dark room is one way to use technology to help you sleep.
You can also use a device like a Fitbit to track your sleep patterns.