To Your Health
December, 2016 (Vol. 10, Issue 12)
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2 Big Reasons to Get Enough Sleep

By Editorial Staff

The consequences of missing out on sleep aren't limited to crankiness and fatigue; research continues to show the profound impact inadequate sleep can have on our health. The latest two examples suggest lack of sleep can negatively impact eating and driving habits, increasing the risk of overeating and suffering a motor vehicle accident, respectively.

Researchers reviewed 11 sleep studies and compared calorie intake and energy expenditure the day after a night of restricted sleep (approximately four hours) vs.

a night of normal sleep. Study participants consumed nearly 400 extra calories the day following their restricted sleep, while also consuming more fat and less protein.

In a separate study, researchers from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety found that drivers who slept a mere 1-2 hours less than the recommended 7-8 per night almost doubled their risk of experiencing a car crash the next day. And drivers who got less sleep were even more likely to experience a next-day car crash compared to drivers who got seven hours or sleep or more the night before: more than 11 times more likely for drivers who slept less than four hours and more than four times more likely for those who slept 5-6 hours the previous night.

If you're not getting enough sleep, it's vital that you figure out why and then do something to correct the problem, because as these studies show, poor sleep isn't just linked to chronic health risks; the damage might be done in a single night. Talk to your doctor for more information.