How acupuncture and sleeping pills compare
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A good restorative night’s sleep is just a dream for almost a third of us.
Your doctor may tell you that insomnia is not considered to be a disease, but can lead to serious physical and mental conditions.
In fact, according to Professor Matthew Walker, director of the Center for Human Sleep Science at the University of California, Berkeley, lack of sleep is literally killing us.
Lack of sleep may affect the quality of life, affect your concentration, lead to accidents behind the wheel and at work.
Effects of disrupted sleep, and why you should not delay the treatment
- Cancer – 40% increased risk: large population studies showed that people who have less than 6 hours of sleep a night have 40% increased the risk of cancer vs people who sleep 7 or more hours. In another study, mice who had fragmented sleep developed tumours that were twice as large
- Reproductive health:
- Female: Women with sleep disorders are 3.7 times more likely to experience infertility. Shift work can lead to irregular menstrual cycle. Harvard University researchers have shown that shift workers had fewer eggs capable to develop into healthy embryos.
- Male: Sleeping too little or too long may affect sperm DNA, sperm count, survival, and motility.
- Alzeimers – Stanford University and Washington Medical School have shown that poor sleep increases the levels of two Alzheimer’s-associated proteins including amyloid beta and tau. Treating sleep disorders in older adults results in a delay of Alzheimer’s by years.
- Obesity and Weight Gain – the reduced duration of sleep associated with weight gain. You are more hungry and more likely to binge eat when you did not get proper sleep.
- Diabetes – perfectly healthy people who had sleep restricted to 4 hours a night had blood glucose similar to prediabetes
- Heart disease – 45% increased risk of developing or dying from HD. Losing 1 hour of sleep related to daylight savings increases the risk of heart attack by 25%.
- Effect on the immune system: prolonged sleep deprivation affects your immunity, but even one night of sleeplessness can obstruct your natural defence. Sleep deprivation may even hinder the effectiveness of vaccines.
- Life expectancy: shorter sleep means a shorter life.
- Happiness, depression. Daniel Kahneman, Nobel Prize-winning psychologist, Curing insomnia can double the chances of recovery from depression.
- Sex drive: lack of sleep and stress both decrease testosterone levels. Testosterone is important for sexual desire in both men and women. Disturbed sleep and sleep deprivation (classified as getting less than 7 hours of sleep a night) may lead to reduced sexual energy and sexual dysfunction.