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Does Poor Sleep lead to Poor Health

At the end of a long work day, a long drive or a long flight, everybody has one thing in mind, a good night’s rest. People have attested to waking up feeling refreshed after a good night’s sleep. Tired looking people or people with bags under their eyes often say that they did not have much sleep. Sleep is therefore an important phenomenon of the human life.  Poor sleeping habits lead to poor health.

When people suffer colds, most times they think it is as a result of poor weather conditions or exposure to flu germs. Sometimes, this may be true. However, a study conducted on 153 individuals exposed to rhinovirus showed that lack of enough sleep leads to higher chance of developing a cold (Cohen et al.). The explanation given is that people who sleep 8 hours or more develop a high resistance to illnesses and common cold becomes a forgotten story. This study goes to show that sleeping less has a direct effect on a person’s ability to keep common flu at bay. Poor sleep in this case leads to a high susceptibility to common cold, thus poor hi ealth.

Hypnotics are drugs prescribed to people who report sleeplessness. One long-term study made a follow up on middle –aged men that had been given hypnotics. The subjects were middle aged men who reported sleeplessness or were put under hypnotics. The results showed that 4.3% of the patients had developed diabetes after some time (Nilsson et al). This study went on to establish that sleep disturbances can be used as a predictor of diabetes patients in the near future. The study had been conducted to test the results of an earlier study and the conclusions were found to be true as further evidence was found to support the hypothesis that sleep deprivation is associated with type 2 diabetes.Does Poor Sleep lead to Poor Health

City or urban dwellers have for a long time been considered overweight and their Body Mass Index (BMI) has constantly been linked to poor food choices, lack of exercise and general lifestyle. Their rural counterparts have also shown obesity characteristics despite being more advantaged in the lifestyle department. A study was conducted in a small agricultural County of Southeastern Iowa to determine why they were likely to suffer from obesity despite having good food choices and exercise options. The results showed that BMI was larger among the group of participants who slept below six hours (Kohatsu et al.). Chances of avoiding obesity increased with the higher amount of time a person slept. Sleeping one hour less was found to increase BMI by 0.42 units (Kohatsu et al.). This study conclusively shows that sleeping less could lead to increased chances of obesity. In another independent study, childhood obesity was investigated. Mothers reported the amount of time their infants and preschool children slept and the researchers carried out their research. The results showed that children who slept for less than 12 hours as infants and were more likely to be overweight in their childhood and youth (Taveras et al). . These children that slept less were also more predisposed to adult obesity and other lifestyle diseases. This study yet again confirms that poor sleeping patterns increase chances of obesity in not only adults but children as well.Does Poor Sleep lead to Poor Health

Obesity is a problem on its own but it also increases the likelihood of other lifestyle diseases such as high blood pressure, heart condition, type 2 diabetes and hyperlipidemia (Taveras et al). The above studies have proven beyond doubt that poor sleep leads to poor health from a young age. No one is safe or protected from poor health and people need to rise above their petty reasons for sleeping less. If people took their sleep hours more seriously, we would improve our health levels significantly. Without mincing words, poor sleep and poor health can hardly be separated. The sooner people realize this and take action, the healthier they will be for it. Good health begins by enough sleep.




Cohen, Sheldon et al. “Sleep Habits And Susceptibility To The Common Cold”. JAMA Network, 2009,  Accessed 19 Feb 2019.

Kohatsu, Neal D. et al. “Sleep Duration And Body Mass Index In A Rural Population”. JAMA Network, 2006, . Accessed 20 Feb 2019.

Nilsson, Peter M. et al. “Incidence Of Diabetes In Middle-Aged Men Is Related To Sleep Disturbances”. Diabetes Care, 2004,  Accessed 20 Feb 2019.

Taveras, Elsie et al. “Short Sleep Duration In Infancy And Risk Of Childhood Overweight”. JAMA Network, 2008,  Accessed 20 Feb 2019.