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How Lack Of Sleep Affects Short- And Lon…g-term health

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Nutrition and exercise are often among the nation’s leading public health concerns. But a growing body of research suggests that sleep is just as important. Dr. Aric Prather of the University of California, San Francisco says that insufficient sleep can affect both short-term and long-term health.

"Chronically, this seems to put people at risk for things like coronary heart disease, the metabolic syndrome, type 2 diabetes, obesity, as well as premature mortality. Of course it also puts people at risk for things like automobile accidents, things that can have incredible consequences. And then there’s even some growing literature suggesting that short sleep may even put people at risk for neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s disease."

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that more than a quarter of Americans are not getting enough sleep, while nearly 10 percent experience chronic insomnia. Prather says it’s an issue we can all address.

"Sleep is a very tractable health behavior, and it could have an incredible effect on population health beyond just the individual."

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