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Losing out on sleep can harm health, possibly even be deadly

Wednesday, April 09, 2014 by: Antonia
Tags: sleep, health effects, fatal accidents

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(NaturalNews) In today's times, where the "work, work and work some more" mentality has seeped deep into business and home lives, the notion of sleep seems to be synonymous with "laziness." To sleep, some feel, is to express blatant disregard of emails, texts, reports and loved ones. Catching Zs are for those who just don't care about their company's productivity and is what pampered life-avoiders do. Sorry, Type-As and (most) of corporate America, but it's just not so; lack of sleep can harm health. In fact, it may be deadly.

Why sleep deprivation is bad

According to the National Sleep Foundation, "One in five American adults show signs of chronic sleep deprivation, making the condition a widespread public health problem. Sleeplessness is related to health issues such as obesity, cardiovascular problems, and memory problems."

This doesn't simply mean that people are yawning a bit more here and there. In addition to nodding off in meetings, individuals are putting their lives in jeopardy. For people who operate heavy machinery or drive a car (the latter is likely something everyone does), watch out. Sleep expert Michael Breus calls sleep deprivation "the single most dangerous aspect of any sleep disorder," explaining that it can actually make us unaware that we're as affected as we are. It can also impact reaction time. Hmmm. Sounds a bit like consuming too much alcohol, right?


According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, over 6,000 people are killed every year in vehicle accidents due to exhausted drivers, and about a quarter-million Americans drive while they are sleep-deprived. Such deaths come in second to fatalities caused by drunk drivers. Legitimate terms such as "Driving while Drowsy" and "Dozing while Driving" exist, and many states are considering legislation that would make it possible for drowsy drivers to be charged with criminal negligence in the event that they kill or injure someone.

Plus, it's costly. Workplace mishaps linked to lack of sleep costs businesses $31 billion annually. Lack of sleep also has the ability to alter the behavior of brain cells, make people more emotionally charged and can negatively disrupt body cycles associated with necessary health maintenance.

How to get more sleep

One suggested way to determine how much sleep is needed is to identify a personal best bed time. Breus suggests counting backwards about seven and a half hours from when it's time to wake up. If people waken refreshed, chances are that's ideal sleep time.

Try foods and drinks that encourage relaxation and a restful sleep. Almonds, chamomile tea, bananas and flax seeds are ideal since they contain nutrients that balance melatonin and serotonin levels and have overall calming, sleep-inducing qualities.

Always stay in tune to the body and do everything possible to obtain quality sleep, from spending fewer late nights in the office to talking to a spouse about ways to deal with their loud snoring.

Sources for this article include:







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. >>> Click here to see more by Antonia

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