Less Than Six Hours of Sleep can Lead to Life Threatening Diseases

Oct 26, 2015 10:32 AM EDT | By Jeanell Sumagpao


A Korean study shows that people who get less than six hours of sleep every night are more prone to health diseases and sickness such as diabetes, stroke and heart disease.

According to Dr. Jang Young Kim of Yonsei University of South Korea , "The 'short' sleepers should be aware of the risks of developing metabolic syndrome, which could lead them to suffer from life threatening and chronic diseases." Metabolic syndromes are comprise of several health risk factors such as extra fat around the midsection, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, high blood sugar and excess amounts of fats in the blood.

The study done by Dr. Kim and his team was more than two years observation of about two-thousand six hundred adults. Results show that adults who are not getting more than six hours of sleep at night were forty one percent more seemingly to have metabolic syndromes than those who get six or more hours of sleep.

Two surveys were conducted between years 2005 to 2008 and 2008 and 2011. The outcomes were taken from surveys with questions pertaining to lifestyle and sleeping habits. The adults who answered the surveys undergone medical tests and were asked about their medical history.

Follow ups were done for two years and according to the results from the Sleep journal, twenty two percent of the participants (about five hundred sixty people) acquired metabolic syndrome. Based on the results, it was concluded that a thirty percent increased risk of a number of health risk factors such as high blood sugar and excess belly fat as well as a fifty six percent chance of having hypertension can be associated to having less than six hours of sleep.

Although the study has a flaw, such as the possibility to have inaccuracy as the test is dependent on the participants' recall and report on their sleep, habits, medical conditions and lifestyle behaviors and the absence of the data about the quality of sleep, yet the results are consistent with the studies done in the past. Kristen Knutson, sleep researcher at the University of Chicago who was not a participant of the study but also agreed on the results and effects of sleep on having metabolic syndrome.

"The strength of this study is that it is a prospective study, which means short sleep was associated with the development of metabolic syndrome," Knutson stated. "This is important because the sleep duration was measured before the people had the disease."

The study done and the results should serve as a caution to everyone who are not getting enough sleep every night and an invitation to evaluate their daily routines and assure to get enough time to rest, to avoid having metabolic syndromes.

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