But there is a growing body of evidence which suggests that insufficient or irregular sleep over a long period of time can contribute to chronic illnesses such as heart disease, cancer, obesity and diabetes.
These findings have major implications because most of us are sleeping less than ever before due to the stresses and pressures of modern life. During the last century, the average number of hours spent asleep per night decreased from nine to seven and a half.
A recent report shows that sleeping less than seven-and-a-half hours at night increases the risk of heart disease
MOST OF us are pretty tuned in to the fact that a healthy diet and lots of exercise will go a long way to safeguarding our long-term health. Conversely, the problems associated with poor diet and a sedentary lifestyle are well known and much discussed.
But there is another important facet of our lifestyle which medical professionals now believe may be just as important in combating chronic illness, but which gets far less attention – the quality and quantity of sleep we get at night.
An occasional bad night’s sleep makes life difficult the following day. We feel tired, lethargic and irritable, and simply getting through the day feels like a mammoth task