Which of the following are mentioned as mental health issues caused by poor sleep?
Alzheimer’s disease
cardiovascular risks
risky decision-making
being hyper-sensitive
lack of empathy
stroke and diabetes
What if you could make your sleep more efficient? As a sleep scientist, this is the question that has captivated me for the past 10 years. Because while the light bulb and technology have brought about a world of 24-hour work and productivity, it has come at the cost of our naturally occurring circadian rhythm and our body’s need for sleep. The circadian rhythm dictates our energy level throughout the day, and only recently we’ve been conducting a global experiment on this rhythm, which is putting our sleep health and ultimately our life quality in jeopardy. Because of this, we aren’t getting the sleep we need, with the average American sleeping a whole hour less than they did in the 1940s. For some reason, we decided to wear it as a badge of honor that we can get by on not enough sleep. This all adds up to a real health crisis. Most of us know that poor sleep is linked to diseases like Alzheimer’s, cardiovascular disease, stroke and diabetes. And if you go untreated with a sleep disorder like sleep apnea, you’re more likely to get many of these illnesses. But did you know about sleep’s impact on your mental states? Poor sleep makes us make risky, rash decisions and is a drain on our capacity for empathy. When sleep deprivation literally makes us more sensitive to our own pain, it’s not so surprising that we have a hard time relating to others and just generally being a good and healthy person when we’re sleep-deprived.
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