Latest study finds that interrupted sleep akin to getting virtually no sleep at all

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(NaturalNews) A recent conducted by researchers from Tel Aviv University's (TAU) School of Psychological Sciences has concluded that interrupted sleep is as detrimental to health as getting virtually no sleep at all.(1) Specifically, the researchers discovered that interrupted sleep, even if they come in short 5 to 10 minutes stretches of waking time, is like getting fewer than four consecutive hours of sleep.(1)

Population not getting sufficient sleep

It's recommended that adults get seven to nine hours of solid sleep nightly, however, only about 30 percent of the U.S. population does.(2) The issue doesn't just mean people will be yawning more throughout the day, either. According to the National Sleep Foundation, "One in five American adults show signs of chronic sleep deprivation," a problem that's linked to memory, obesity and heart problems.(3)

"The sleep of many parents is often disrupted by external sources such as a crying baby demanding care during the night. Doctors on call, who may receive several phone calls a night, also experience disruptions," said TAU professor Avi Sadeh. "These night wakings could be relatively short . . . but they disrupt the natural sleep rhythm."(1)

Add to this the reliance on cell phones and technology, where people are often sending quick texts in the middle of the night or even responding to work emails in the wee hours of the morning, and it's easy to understand just how little sleep people are actually getting.

What getting by on hardly any sleep does to the body and brain

In this particular study, volunteers slept for eight hours, then the next day, had their sleep interrupted four times in the course of the night by phone calls. Upon awakening each of the four times, they were asked to complete a brief computer task where they remained awake for about 15 minutes. The following morning, they engaged in some additional computer tasks as well as answered questions pertaining to their mood. A direct link between waning attention span and a negative mood was observed when the volunteers were functioning on interrupted sleep.(1)

This isn't the first time lack of sleep has been associated with negative physical and emotional outcomes. Other studies have also shown that sleep is vital for brain development and that when it's compromised, memory and mood decline.(2) Some research has even shown that molecules in the body that are typically linked to brain damage and degeneration increase in people who are getting by on little sleep.(2)

So serious is the issue of insufficient amounts of sleep that terms such as "Driving while Drowsy" exist and there is even legislation being considered that would charge drowsy drivers with criminal negligence should they injure or kill someone in a driving while drowsy situation.(3)

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About the author:
A science enthusiast with a keen interest in health nutrition, Antonia has been intensely researching various dieting routines for several years now, weighing their highs and their lows, to bring readers the most interesting info and news in the field. While she is very excited about a high raw diet, she likes to keep a fair and balanced approach towards non-raw methods of food preparation as well.

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