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The Short- and Long-term Impacts of Sleep Disruption on Health

Sleep & Relaxation Sleep & Relaxation

Sleep deprivation is becoming increasingly common in today’s busy world. Working long hours, going to school, studying, caring for children and more are keeping people awake longer than they should be. People are not only struggling to get the proper amount of sleep and fall asleep, but staying asleep is another serious issue. According to a study on the National Library of Medicine National Center for Biotechnology Information website in an article titled “Short- and long-term health consequences of sleep disruption, “Problems with sleep are widely prevalent and include deficits in quantity and quality of sleep; sleep problems that impact the continuity of sleep are collectively referred to as sleep disruptions.” The researchers point out that sleep disruption can be caused by several factors, including environmental and lifestyle factors to sleep disorders and other medical conditions.

The researchers noted that “In otherwise healthy adults, short-term consequences of sleep disruptions include increased stress responsivity, somatic pain, reduced quality of life, emotional distress and mood disorders, and cognitive, memory, and performance deficits. For adolescents, psychosocial health, school performance and risk-taking behaviors are impacted by sleep disruption. Behavioral problems and cognitive functioning are associated with sleep disruption in children.” As far as long-term consequences in otherwise healthy individuals, the list includes “hypertension, dyslipidemia, cardiovascular disease, weight-related issues, metabolic syndrome, type 2 diabetes mellitus and colorectal cancer.”

As a result, researchers concluded that health care practitioners should be cognizant of how “managing underlying medical conditions may help to optimize sleep continuity and consider prescribing interventions that minimize sleep disruption.”

For more information, visit www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov.