How does sleep deprivation affect health and well-being?

“Sleep has an enormous impact on society and health,” says sleep-medicine specialist Alon Avidan, M.D., M.P.H., director of the UCLA Sleep Disorders Center. He notes that excessive sleepiness can result in cognitive difficulties and memory problems, as well as severely impairing one’s alertness and ability to drive, which may result in accidents.

Chronic insomnia, which affects approximately one in 10 Americans, is associated with higher rates of depression. However, when the insomnia problem is addressed, mood often significantly improves. Obstructive sleep apnea, a common but frequently undiagnosed disorder that is often the source of daytime sleepiness, increases the risk of high blood pressure, heart disease and stroke when left untreated.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.