Gill Stannard

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Tired? Need more energy?

Perhaps it would help if you had more sleep?

The Australian reports on a recently published study in NSW proving some of us really don't get enough shut eye.

As contentious as it is as to how much sleep we really need, it is proven that under sleeping (6.5 hours or less) significantly decreases reaction time and is equivalent in risk to drunk driving.

More than that, being chronically tired is not a lot of fun.

So, how about you make a date tonight. Just you and your doona, sometime before 10 pm for some good quality, winter time sleep?

One in five sleeping under 6.5 hours
By Tamara McLean
June 05, 2006
ALMOST one in five people were sleeping less than six and a half hours a night, making them prime targets for diabetes and other chronic illnesses, sleep specialists said.

Scientists from the Woolcock Institute in Sydney surveyed 3300 New South Wales residents and found a "worrisome" number suffered from chronic sleep restrictions.

More than one in 10 people suffered from chronic daytime sleepiness, and more than three in 10 had insomnia or some other sleeping disorder.

People slept an average of 7.3 hours during the week and 7.5 hours on the weekend.

But most disturbing were statistics showing 18 per cent of adults – almost one in five – sleep less than 6.5 hours a night.

Dr Nat Marshall, study co-author and Woolcock post doctoral fellow, said the findings were alarming given a US study found people sleeping less were more prone to diabetes and obesity.

"In America they found people sleeping less than five hours a night were 40 per cent more likely to get diabetes 10 or 15 years down the track," Dr Marshall said.

"This is obviously quite concerning when you've got the kind of data that we've got.

"That's a lot of people at increased risk of developing the disease."

Results showed people in their 30s and 40s were getting the least sleep, he said.

"Clearly, this is a real worry because that's when you start developing chronic diseases like coronary artery disease and diabetes," Dr Marshall said.

Sleep-deprived people were also more likely to eat more as their hormones become confused, leading to obesity and possibly diabetes.

"Given all this, lack of sleep is likely to be having a major impact on the state of public health in Australia," he said.

The study, presented at the Australian Society of Medical Research Conference in Sydney today, involved working-aged people selected at random from the NSW electoral roll.

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