A lot has been said about the importance of sleep. It is believed to help you avoid junk food, and help boost physical performance and cognitive function. But an excess of sleep or too little can be harmful for your health. Here’s what some recent studies done on the topic show:
1) Insufficient sleep can increase chances of death by heart failure.
Findings in the Journal of the American Heart Association says that not getting enough sleep can double the chances of dying from heart disease or stroke, particularly in people with risk factors like diabetes, obesity, high blood pressure and cholesterol.
2) Climate change may end up disrupting your sleep pattern.
Warmer temperatures could cause six additional nights of insufficient sleep per 100 individuals by 2050 and approximately 14 extra nights per 100 by 2099, said researchers from University of California-San Diego (UCSD) in the US. They found that anomalous increases in nighttime temperature by one degree Celsius translate to three nights of insufficient sleep per 100 individuals per month.
3) Catching up on sleep over the weekend can increase risk of heart disease.
Research by University of Arizona in the US shows that each hour of social jet lag — which occurs when one goes to bed and wakes up much later on weekends than during the week — is associated with an 11% increase in the likelihood of heart disease.
4) Want healthier, fitter sperms? Study suggests you should sleep early.
Going to bed before midnight may be key to healthier and fitter sperm, a study led by researchers from Harbin Medical University in China has showed. Late bedtimes and inadequate rest are harmful because they increase levels of anti-sperm antibody, a type of protein produced by the immune system which can destroy healthy sperm.
5) Night smartphone use may lead to poor sleep and self-esteem.
Researchers at Griffith University and Murdoch University found that use of smartphones late at night may have low sleep quality, leading to poor mental health, reduced coping and self-esteem.