Getting a good night’s rest is important to our good health. But, you may be surprised by these six facts that show you how bad being chronically sleep deprived can be.
- Lack of sleep and students. You’re going to want to call your college students and warn them. You’ll put your teen to bed earlier. It’s a fact according to a team from Yale and the University of Texas. A misalignment between weekday and weekend sleep schedules (like staying up studying and catching up on the weekend or partying all night instead of sleeping when the weekend rolls around) is associated with the worst academic performance. Worse, college students at risk for a sleep disorder, dropped out a higher rate and had lower grades at the end of their freshman and sophomore years.
- Lack of sleep may equal lack of empathy. A study of healthcare workers by the department of psychiatry at Penn State College of Medicine showed that workers who suffered from insomnia exhibited less empathy for those under their care than those workers who were well rested. We’re guessing any parent of a sick toddler who has been up all night and, then, has to deal with the cranky child the next day would agree.
- Stress, veterans and lack of sleep. A study at the Durham VA Medical Center showed that poor sleep may affect a veteran’s ability to cope with stress. It was the first study of its kind and more studies will follow, but you could assume this is true of any person with sleep deprivation and a stressful life.
- Bad things create bad sleep. A Norwegian study in 2011 of survivors of a terrorist attack showed that more than 50 percent of them had developed symptoms of insomnia and other disorder – even though none of them said they’d had sleep disorders before the attack. This study underscores the need to screen victims of PTSD for sleep-disordered breathing.
- What did you dream? A study at the Seoul National University of Medicine and Hospital looked at REM sleep behavior disorder (RBD) and depression. It found that depressed people were less able to recall their dreams. The failure to be able to remember and recall dreams may be a sign of neurodegeneration.
- Improve sleep and lessen pain. Another study at a VA hospital showed that improved sleep lead to reduced pain. But, it took a while. Fewer sleep complaints at three months corresponded to less pain at 12 months. The study sheds light on the need to address sleep issues in those with chronic pain.
If this doesn’t make you want to get your 7 or 8 hours of shut-eye, what will? A good night’s rest is important to all of us – whether we’re facing pain, stress, a cranky baby or a test tomorrow. If you or any member of your family are sleeping on an old mattress that is interfering with your rest, think about replacing it. You’re going to find that brand, new mattresses not only offer superior support but also an affordable price.
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