Long-term health risks, such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease, can be exacerbated by Insomnia


Long-term health risks, such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease, can be exacerbated by Insomnia

New research from Penn State suggests that chronic sleep deprivation can have long-term health consequences. The study looked at the sleep habits of nearly 3,700 adults in the U.S. and classified them into four categories: good sleepers, insomniacs, weekend catch-up sleepers, and habitual nappers. They discovered that individuals with insomnia were more likely to develop cardiovascular disease, diabetes, depression, and frailty over time. However, weekend catch-up sleepers did not show a significant association with these chronic conditions.

Interestingly, the researchers found that most people did not change their sleep patterns over a 10-year period, suggesting that sleep habits are deeply ingrained in our lifestyles. It is also possible that many individuals are still unaware of the impact that sleep has on overall health. Three simple strategies to enhance sleep hygiene include avoiding the use of cell phones in bed, maintaining a regular exercise routine, and limiting caffeine intake in the late afternoon.

Dr. Mallika Marshall, an Emmy-award-winning journalist and physician, has been the HealthWatch Reporter for CBS Boston/WBZ-TV for more than 20 years. She is Board Certified in both Internal Medicine and Pediatrics and practices at Massachusetts General Hospital. Dr. Marshall is actively involved in caring for patients with COVID-19 at the MGH Chelsea Urgent Care and the MGH Revere Health Center. Additionally, she serves on staff at Harvard Medical School and is a host and contributing editor for Harvard Health Publications.

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