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The Effects of Sleep Deprivation
Do you think that sleep is a waste of your time? Are you quietly proud of your ability to survive on just a few hours sleep a night? Maybe you even see sleep as a weakness to be overcome? If you are a "sleep less" person I have news for you. Sleep isn't optional.

Research sows that there are many problems associated with chronic sleep deprivation. That's sleep deprivation that has built up over several weeks or months. Here are some of them:

>?  Lack of sleep can shorten your life. Death from all causes is lowest among adults who get seven to eight hours of sleep nightly, and significantly higher among those who sleep less than seven.
>?  The immune system is impaired. Sleep researcher Eve van Cauter at the University of Chicago gave flu vaccine to subjects who had slept only four hours per night for the previous six nights. Their immune systems produced only half the normal number of antibodies in response. The same study also showed:

>?  a) Heart rates and blood pressure were raised.

b) Insulin resistance, a pre-diabetic condition that affects glucose tolerance and produces weight gain, developed.

c) Leptin, a hormone that inhibits appetite, was reduced. That is why sleep deprivation can result in weight gain. Other studies have shown similar results.

>?  Intellectual performance is reduced. Critical thinking plummets, so don't stay up all night cramming for an exam.
>?  Reaction time is slowed which could be fatal in some situations especially if you are a doctor, airline pilot or even just drive a car.

Sleep deprivation has been the cause of numerous accidents and combined with alcohol it can be lethal. When we are overtired we take mini sleeps without even realizing it. Imagine taking a mini sleep when driving or operating dangerous equipment. If you have a large sleep debt you are a danger to yourself and others.

Notice how often driver fatigue is mentioned in reports on various accidents. The one we probably remember best is the Exon Valdize, but airplane and road traffic accidents are frequently put down to driver fatigue. While most would not drive when drunk the idea of driving when tired does not set off the same alarm bells, but it should. The mixture of tiredness plus alcohol adds to the risk.

So the bottom line is that no matter how hard it is to follow a sensible sleep routine you must do it. Going to bed late on a regular basis can be lethal for you or for someone you else. If you aren't getting to sleep because you have insomnia please take action to cure your sleeping problem. Insomnia must be taken seriously and a cure pursued.

By Liz Beresford
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Liz Beresford: Discover how to cure insomnia and get a good night's sleep with the Sleep Sound Insomnia program, an audio incorporating brain wave entrainment and relaxation, to listen to when you are ready to go sleep: http://www.sleep-sound.com/ Courtesy: http://thephantomwriters.com
 
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