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How too little sleep can affect your health and productivity



Sleep deprivation is a mounting concern with far-reaching implications for health and productivity.

According to the Neuroscience product manager for Pharma Dynamics, Abdurahmaan Kenny, insufficient sleep extends beyond mere drowsiness the next day.

Kenny says insufficient sleep has been linked to a spectrum of health issues, including cardiovascular diseases, accidents, diabetes, and hypertension, among others.

“Those who sleep less than six hours a night also tend to struggle with weight issues, having a body-mass index (BMI) 12% greater than those who sleep between seven and nine hours,” he added.

Kenny also noted that over time, chronic sleep deprivation may lead to insomnia.

He said this can affect how well you think, your mood, and even your immune system.

“It can lead to increased stress, irritability, difficulty concentrating, memory issues, depression, and anxiety, as well as a weakened immune system. Over time, these effects can contribute to the development or exacerbation of insomnia.”

Various factors contribute to insomnia, according to Kenny. These may include stressors like grief, chronic pain, substance abuse, impaired social relationships, lower socioeconomic status, old age, and being female.

Kenny notes that women are particularly susceptible due to hormonal fluctuations, predispositions to mental health issues, and circadian rhythm disturbances.

He said it’s important to get help early and try to develop good sleep habits.

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Here are some tips he suggests:

  • Try to go to bed and wake up at the same time every day.
  • Do relaxing activities before bed, such as reading or taking a warm bath.
  • Ensure your bedroom is comfortable and quiet.
  • Avoid consuming caffeine and alcohol before bed.
  • Maintain a regular exercise routine.
  • Consider consulting with a therapist who can help you change your thoughts and behaviours to sleep better.
  • Practice relaxation techniques like meditation.
  • Avoid excessive daytime napping.
  • Seek professional help, including short-term medication under medical supervision.

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