By Maria Masters, Men’s Health
Logging too little sleep might be a lot more dangerous than we suspected. In the past, we’ve reported that a lack of shut-eye can expand your waistline and dull your reaction times, but now, a new study in the American Journal of Epidemiology shows that restless nights can lead to far more serious problems. When a group of researchers tracked nearly 18,000 people for almost 20 years, they found a number of startling statistics, including:
Danger #1: Diabetes
The finding: Men who sleep restlessly are 50 percent more likely to develop diabetes than those who rest easier.
The reason: The study authors note that the deep, restorative kind of sleep—called slow-wave sleep—is important for regulating blood sugar levels. (Nighttime fantasies = healthy blood sugar.)
For more information about how you can get this quality R & R, read Sleep Like a Baby.
Danger #2: Death (by all causes)
The finding: Younger men who frequently wake up more than three times in the middle of the night are twice as likely to die an earlier death than those who sleep until morning. (The causes included cancer and cardiovascular disease, among others.)
The reason: Logging too little sleep has been linked in the past with obesity, hypertension, and diabetes. According to the authors, these conditions could set the stage for more serious health problems down the road, particularly heart disease—the main killer in the study.