Why Sleep Deprivation is the New Smoking

sleepdeprivationA few years ago the catch phrase “sitting is the new smoking” became popular in the wake of astronaut studies showing that lack of activity (gravity) profoundly affected heart health and life span. More recently the medical and media fields have turned their attention to sleep deprivation – with astonishing results. Chronic lack of sleep has been linked with Alzheimers and other dementia, cancer, MS, weight gain, heart problems, and more. The physical impact is tremendous, but there are less quantifiable factors as well, such as accidents and fatalities, decreased productivity, and emotional volatility.

In the documentary “Sleepless in America,” researchers estimate that as much as 40% of the population is not getting enough sleep. In a recent article, Dr. Mercola writes, “Even the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has stated that lack of sleep is a public health epidemic, noting that insufficient sleep has been linked to a wide variety of health problems.”

Last year, Arianna Huffington announced that she was leaving her namesake news site to start a new venture, ThriveGlobal.com. As the press release stated, “It provides trainings, seminars, e-courses, coaching, and ongoing support based on the latest scientific findings from experts in the fields of neuroscience, psychology, productivity, sports, and sleep.” The author of The Sleep Revolution: Transforming Your Life, One Night at a Time,  Huffington became interested in the effects of sleep deprivation after her own collapse from exhaustion in 2007.

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