Sleep most important ingredient of good health, according to scientists

sleep deprivation
sleep deprivation

The scientific community has long established that losing sleep has detrimental effects on the body’s overall health and may increase the odds of debilitating conditions, a neuroscientist and human sleep science expert Professor Matthew Walker said in a recent Daily Mail article.

The expert stressed that sleep deprivation may put people at an increased risk of various cardiovascular conditions, cancer, and other adverse physical and psychological health issues.

For instance, the health expert cited a Harvard University study that demonstrated how foregoing regular daytime naps or siestas may elevate the risk of heart troubles.

As part of the study, the researchers examined more than 23,000 Greeks and found that those who did not nap were 37 percent more likely to die of heart disease over six years compared with those who did. The researchers also found that heart disease-related mortality increased by more than 60 percent in working men who did not take their afternoon naps. (Related:Sound sleep habits and healthy lifestyle reduces risk of fatal heart attack by nearly eighty percent.)

Sleeplessness was associated with higher odds of developing cancer, Prof. Walker noted. Data on nearly 25,000 Europeans showed that those who slept for six hours or less had a 40 percent higher likelihood of developing the disease than those who slept for seven hours or more.

In another study carried out by scientists at theUniversity of California, Los Angeles, researchers found that healthy young men who slept for only four hours on a single night lost 70 percent of the natural cancer-killing cells circulating in their systems.

The sleep expert also stressed that lack of sleep may lead to an increased risk of Alzheimer’s disease, diabetes, anxiety, and depression as well as obesity, physiological damage, chronic pain, and infertility.

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