Progressively shorter sleep was associated with a 45 percent increased risk of developing and/or dying from coronary heart disease within seven to twenty-five years from the start of the study. A similar relationship was observed in a Japanese study of over 4,000 male workers. Over a fourteen-year period, those sleeping six hours or less were 400 to 500 percent more likely to suffer one or more cardiac arrests than those sleeping more than six hours say Mathew Walker in his book Why we Sleep.

In the book, Why We Sleep, Mathew Walker refers to David Dinges of the University of Pennsylvania, a titan in the field of sleep research who has done more than any scientist in history to answer the fundamental question: What is the recycle rate of a human being? That is, how long can a human go without sleep?

A Brief, Yet Concerning Conclusion

1. Slowness was not the most sensitive signature of sleepiness, entirely missed responses were. Known as microsleeps: the real-life equivalent of which would be failing to react to a child who runs out in front of your car when chasing a ball.

2. After four hours of sleep for six nights, participants’ performance was just as bad as those who had not slept for twenty-four hours straight—that is, a 400 percent increase in the number of microsleeps.

3. Most worrying from a societal perspective were the individuals in the group who obtained six hours of sleep a night—something that may sound familiar to many. Ten days of six hours of sleep a night was all it took to become as impaired in performance as going without sleep for twenty-four hours straight.

Professor Walker goes onto say that once you know that after just one night of only four or five hours’ sleep, your natural killer cells – the ones that attack the cancer cells that appear in your body every day – drop by 70 percent, or that a lack of sleep is linked to cancer of the bowel, prostate and breast, or even just that the World Health Organisation has classed any form of night-time shift work as a probable carcinogen, how could you do anything else? Our work reveal numerous other serious health risk to non-optimal sleep.

Read more here Cooke (2017) The shorter your sleep, the shorter your life

Don’t allow failed sleep patterns that have been accepted as the norm to impact your overall well-being and cause a myriad of health consequences. Take our initial assessment Sleep Quality Survey to identify if any potential risk may exist that impacts your quality and quantity of optimal sleep. If you seriously wish to improve your sleeping habits, inbox us with a reply and we will help resolve your potential problem. Depending on your medical insurance plan, as much as 95% of the costs of our work in sleep science is covered by your medical aid.

Peter Šmanjak

Owner and Founder at Infinite Risk

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