Sleep is an important component of good health. It promotes healing and prepares the body for the next day, among other functions. That said, there are adverse consequences to lack of sleep, and a recent study shows just how grave they can be.
A group of researchers from Pennsylvania State University found that people with diabetes, high blood pressure or cardiovascular disease may be exposing themselves to an increased risk of early death and cancer by not getting enough sleep. The team suggests that sleeping for at least six hours is important to prevent adverse health outcomes, especially in the presence of existing illnesses.
"Our study suggests that achieving normal sleep may be protective for some people with these health conditions and risks," said lead author Julio Fernandez-Mendoza, a sleep psychologist and an associate professor at the Pennsylvania State College of Medicine.