“There is increasing evidence that there is a very strong relationship between sleep quality and physical and mental health,” said Dr. Phyllis C. Zee, a professor of neurology at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine.

“If you have poor sleep, there is an association between that and poor health,” Zee said.

Still, physicians should be asking their patients about the quality and quantity of their sleep, Zee said. “Sleep should be another vital sign,” she said.

In one study, led by Richard L. Nahin, a senior advisor for scientific coordination and outreach at the U.S. National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine, looked at why people had trouble sleeping and how many were using alternative drugs to help them sleep.

Insomnia and trouble sleeping are most often associated with high blood pressure, heart failure, anxiety and depression, according to a national survey of 31,044 adults. “That’s unusual. It had been most often thought that insomnia was quite prevalent on its own, but only 4 percent of the people who said they had insomnia said they had it without any of those conditions,” Nahin said.

The researchers also found that 1.6 million Americans are using alternative therapies, such as melatonin to treat their insomnia. “That’s quite high when you consider that there is very little reliable data on the efficacy and safety of using the products people are using,” Nahin said.

“Another study found that people who have sleep-related breathing disorder — marked by frequent pauses in breathing, labored breathing, or reduced breathing during the night — were two to 2.6 times more likely to develop depression. Moreover, the odds of depression increased as breathing disorders became more severe, according to researcher Paul E. Peppard and colleagues from the University of Wisconsin.

“If you think insomnia is an annoyance and merely something you should tough out, that may be a mistake,” said Michael L. Perlis, director of the Sleep Research Laboratory at the University of Rochester, in New York. “It may lead you down the path to other morbidities. It would also be a mistake because it’s treatable.”

Other studies in the same journal issue found that:

  • Fewer hours of sleep may contribute to poor health in young adults.
  • Those in rural areas who sleep fewer hours appear to weigh more.
  • The immune system may play a role in narcolepsy, a disorder characterized by an uncontrollable urge to sleep.
  • The immune system may be affected by a lack of sleep that contributes to inflammation and a variety of diseases.

-Archives of Internal Medicine, HealthDay

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Dr. Keith and Laurie Nemec’s comments on Poor Sleep causes Health Problems.
Very interesting in this article just confirmed how critical sleep is in your total health. According to the researcher, it says there is increasing evidence that there is a very strong relationship between sleep quality and physical and mental health. And what they found in this research is that sleep is tied into every aspect of your health and from the immune system to the cardio vascular system to the mental emotional state of a person, even to the amount of inflammation in the body. So, it is obvious, it is one of the Seven Basic Steps to Total Health. It is a very important basic step because it was designed by God;

We were designed to go to bed when the sun went down and get up when the sun comes up. And the closer we live on that schedule, the more we are going to balance our immune system, balance our hormonal system including the thyroid gland. We are going to balance our nervous system and neurological system. We are going to decrease the inflammation in our body.

This all comes with proper amount of sleep at the right time. Time is critical. The more hours before midnight has a double effect on the body. Remember if your sleep is decreased and you get little or now pre-midnight sleep you weaken your immune system and increase your cancer risk. A simple treatment is to simply get to sleep by 8PM every day. So the hours between the eight and midnight have a double effect compared to the hours after midnight. So remember, you want to be in bed by eight o’clock, and you want to be up by six. As close to that as you can, the more you will balance your system. Even if you get the same amount of hours, 9 to 9 1/2 hours, but you went to bed at midnight and you woke up at 9:00 – 9:30, this does not balance the system. Because you’ve lost the most critical hours, which were the four hours before midnight.

Also a side note is the use of melatonin for sleep. This is not recommended for the reason that if you take anything that artificially stimulates your hormonal system the system will grow dependent upon that stimulation and stop secreting the hormones on it own. This throws the hormonal system completely out of balance. Instead of taking supplements or medications start on the journey to total health by following the 7 Basic Steps to Total Health.