Elizabethan author, Thomas Dekker, who once wrote that “Sleep is that golden chain that ties health and our bodies together.” Medical research appears to agree; according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the National Sleep Foundation, 35.2% of adults in the United States sleep less than seven hours a day. Stressful lifestyles, less exercise, and unhealthy eating can be significant reasons behind this. Many studies have supported the fact that sleep disorders like sleep apnea, insomnia, and interrupted sleep can be a significant risk factor for many diseases.
Studies have found that it is essential to complete all the sleep stages for full body and mind restoration. However, disruptive sleep can inhibit this sleep stage progression causing the short- and potential long-term hazard to our mind and body. There can be numerous reasons for restless and disruptive sleep such as sick family members who needs constant care, nursing a new baby at regular intervals or noisy neighbors. Whatever the reason, sleep deprivation can negatively affect the mental and physical health of a person. These effects can include reduced cognitive ability, decreased attention span, forgetfulness, an inability to learn new things, constant sour mood etc. Mice studies have found that there can be an accumulation of harmful protein, for instance, an Amyloid protein which is supposedly linked with Alzheimer. Furthermore, a recent article in Nature found that broken sleep could promote cardiovascular diseases. Using mice as the model organisms, the study found that disrupted sleep causes the brain to signal the bone marrow to boost white blood production that can damage blood vessels.
While many may find it difficult to maintain healthy sleep patterns, there are steps that can be taken to better manage sleep. Try habits such as eliminating stimulants like caffeine, incorporating physical exercises into daily routines, and ensuring sure that sleeping environments are comfortable and lack interruptions. The inclusion of these habits can help lead to a good night’s rest, which in turn can enhance attention span, increase problem-solving skills, and improve moods. Making conscious decisions to improve sleeping habits can effectively impact overall health.
Tall, Alan R., and Sanja Jelic. “How broken sleep promotes cardiovascular disease.” (2019).
Sethi, Mansi, et al. “Increased fragmentation of sleep–wake cycles in the 5XFAD mouse model of Alzheimer’s disease.” Neuroscience 290 (2015): 80-89.