GMA

Jul 25, 2013 10:34 AM by Kristen Holloway

Sleep Deprivation: The Long Term Effects

Need more sleep? This morning we're looking at ways to decrease bad sleeping patterns to help you get a good nights rest to maintain healthy.

Sleep is just as important as eating food and drinking water. We found out how chronic lack of sleep causes sleep deprivation and disrupts every physiologic function in the body.

Don't sleep enough during the week? Feeling icky, tired or even angry?
Family Physician Indira Gautam says these are signs of sleep deprivation, which
can lead to things like anxiety, depression and even impacts memory formation.
but, lack of adequate rest over an extended period can cause more serious health problems.

"People who sleep 6 hours or less double their chances for a heart attack or stroke," said Gautam.

There are ways to help bad sleeping patterns. The sleep lab at Women's and Children's Hospital watches a patient sleep patterns.

"Our goal is to get sleep time on patients and see if sleep
deprivation is contributing factor to what's going on in their body and for us it
allows a minute to look at the whole picture and see if sleep is playing a role
in what's going on with them, " Todd Finley.

If you're looking to decrease bad patterns at home:
Doctors say don't sleep with the television on, don't overlook signals from your body when you're tired and it's best to get eight to ten hours every night.

"Don't allow any kind of professional or day time activities take over the sleep
cause ultimately the price is there, your health is not going to be able to
sustain so sleep well," said Vukimr Vlasic M.D. Pulmonology Therapist.

So how are you sleeping? If you're having problems resting at night or not sleeping at all, it's recommended you start by talking with your physicians about options to get a good nights rest.

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