Here are a few more reasons why insomnia shouldn't be ignored. Before reading any further, let us remind you that according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 50-70 million US adults aren't getting enough sleep.
Insomnia compromises your immune system
Those who get only four hours of sleep each night for a week produce half the number of flu antibodies after receiving a flu vaccine compared to those who sleep between seven and eight hours.
Insomnia may lead to depression
A two year study involving over 10,000 participants found that getting less than six hours of sleep led to feelings of anxiousness and sadness. Furthermore, sleep deprivation can lead to depression since a lack of sleep can lead to chemical changes in the brain that affect mood.
Insomnia can cause high blood pressure
Getting less than six hours of sleep each night can almost double your risk of developing high blood pressure.
Insomnia can lead to heart disease
A study found that women who slept for five hours or less each night had higher levels of CRP - a marker for heart disease.
Insomnia may cause diabetes
Research suggests that poor sleep can lead to insulin resistance, which could lead to the development of type 2 diabetes.
Insomnia makes you gain weight
One study found that those who slept five hours per night for two weeks burned more muscle and less fat than those who slept for eight hours. Another study found that getting less than five hours of sleep can cause excess weight to accumulate around your mid-section due to the higher levels of cortisol in the body after reduced sleep.
Insomnia makes you look old
Just one night of sleep deprivation can make fine lines and wrinkles more visible, since even the loss of one night's sleep can dry the skin and leave it less elastic.
Many insomniacs know everything we've shared above. Now it's time for us to educate those who are lucky enough to enjoy consistent, quality sleep. We really need to do a better job in educating the general public about insomnia and its potentially devastating consequences.
Source: MSN Health
Last updated: January 27, 2012