8. Leads to Early Death
It may sound dramatic, but numerous studies have linked sleep deprivation to an increased risk of early death. This doesn’t mean that an occasional late night is going to send you to an early grave, but continued lack of sleep or poor sleep over a period of years, could increase your risk of many serious, chronic health problems.
A decent night’s sleep is fundamental to our body’s ability to function. It is during our sleeping hours that our body repairs and renews cells and tissues. It also heals and repairs blood vessels, and creates new pathways in the brain essential for learning and memory.
Researchers analyzed data collected over 16 studies, comprising 1.3 million people in the US, UK and Asia over 25 years found that those who slept an average of less than 6 hours per night were 12% more likely to die early, than those who sleep between 6-8 hours per night. It also showed that lack of sleep was associated with ailments including heart disease, high blood pressure, obesity, and diabetes. Evidence also showed that people who slept consistently more than 9 hours per night were also at an increased risk of early death, but this was attributed to other health-related causes.
However, not getting enough sleep could also be an indicator of other health problems, and therefore an increased risk of early death. Those in chronic pain or with mental health issues such as depression are less likely to be able to get a consistent good quality of sleep, which may increase their risk of other health problems. Similarly, if you work shifts, or are under financial pressure to work a high number of hours, this may increase your stress and therefore your ability to sleep.