The Real Dangers of Sleep Deprivation – Part 3
In Part 1 and 2 of this 3 part article Anne Noonan explored the sleep link to general health and business productivity. One more element of sleep deprivation that needs to be discussed, is how deadly this condition can be.
In Matt Walker’s book ‘Why We Sleep’, he poses the question
‘What could the world look like if we slept solidly, for 8 hours without fail, every night, and woke up refreshed every day’.
Achieving 8 solid hours of deep refreshing sleep is a dream for many, including myself.
Do you remember your own teen years when it was possible and even necessary to sleep in until the late hours of the morning on a Saturday? Not necessarily because we had a night out, but simply because our growing bodies desperately needed it. Do you find now, that sleep seems to be more elusive? For the vast majority of us, a solid 8 hours of deep sleep rarely happens.
How lack of sleep in others can negatively affect our lives.
We know how drained we feel and look when we’re tired and can’t concentrate. Consider how doctors feel when expected to be alert for 12 and 16 hours at a time or the pilot who flies for a solid 20 hours. What damage could they be responsible for if their reflexes and concentration are compromised. Check out this Medscape article https://tinyurl.com/yb64yyws re the high rates of suicide among young sleep deprived doctors.
When we’re sleep deprived, one of the most dangerous things we can do, is be in control of a car. When travelling along a highway at 100 kilometres an hour, we are in effect inside a loaded missile that can have devastating effects. Studies have shown that road carnage caused by sleep deprivation is far more horrific and common than that caused by drunk drivers.
I found as I was losing sleep over the years that my cortisol levels became erratic and I gained weight. I had a doctor warn me a few years ago that it would be more than just weightgain I had to be concerned about. There are strong links to heart disease, Australia’s #1 killer of women, and dementia.
My fifth tip for ensuring you get your sleep is to see a sleep expert if anxiety or busy brain is preventing your slumber.