- A neuroscientist said that it is true that lack of sleep can contribute to your death.
- It can increase the chances of cancer, Alzheimer’s, obesity, stroke, and diabetes.
As much as everyone wants to make the best out of their lives, because we only live once after all, rest is still important.
Others may disagree and quote Bon Jovi by saying “Gonna live while I’m alive, I’ll sleep when I’m dead”, but whether we like it or not, sleep deprivation could actually kill us.
It’s an intoxicating thought, but it’s true.
Neuroscientist Matthew Walker and neuroimaging lab at UC Berkeley stressed the importance of sleep in his book Why We Sleep, published in October 2017. He also delved deep into his research about a how-to guide on getting enough and better rest.
Walker stated in an interview with Business Insider, “The shorter your sleep, the shorter your life.”
The World Health Organization recommended an eight hour sleep as a good baseline, and Walker added that it is estimated that two thirds of the world’s adults are not getting enough.
He said that getting only six or seven hours of shut-eye per night can cause serious long-term damage to your health, and in some cases even kill you. The eight hour long shut eye also helps keep one productive, as well as emotionally and physically healthy.
So how can it kill you? Well, when you haven’t slept enough, it’s harder for the body to fight off illnesses ranging from common colds to cancer. Sleep deprivation depletes stores of your “natural killer cells,” a type of lymphocyte (white blood cell) that nix tumor and virus cells. A single 4- or 5-hour night of sleep could lower your body’s “natural killer” cell count by around 70%, Walker says.
Insufficient sleep is also linked to increased instances of Alzheimer’s, obesity, stroke, and diabetes.
Walker then said that if you don’t sleep enough, “you will be both dead sooner, and the quality of your (now shorter) life will be significantly worse”.