Global sleep solution brand ‘ResMed’ announced the average sleep time surveyed in 12 countries around the world on ‘World Sleep Day’ on March 17th. The average sleep time in 12 major countries, including the United States, China, and Japan, was 7.16 hours, while the average sleep time in Korea was 6.9 hours. Also, in the global average sleep time surveyed by the OECD in 2016, the sleep time of Koreans was the lowest in the world.
Why do Koreans lack sleep time? The reasons are truly varied. Stress, frequent smartphone use, insomnia and depression. In addition, frequent overtime and late work is also one of the causes of lack of sleep. Besides, there’s even a saying that was once popular on the Internet, ‘Sleep before you die’… All humans die anyway, and when they die, they end up sleeping for the rest of their lives, but it’s a story that doesn’t need to go to sleep now. This means doing what you want more instead of sleeping, which eventually created a phenomenon where modern people achieve what they want by reducing sleep. Some have shortened their sleep time for study, for hobbies, or for short-lived pleasures such as games. But are the consequences of less sleep true for me? Lack of sleep eventually returns to our lives like a boomerang called illness.
Did you know that sleep deprivation increases your chances of diseases such as heart disease, diabetes and dementia? Matthew Walker, author of the book “Why Do We Sleep?” talks about the importance of ‘sleep’ and emphasizes that sleep is one of the basics of maintaining health.
One of the biggest problems caused by lack of sleep is heart disease. The reason why the heart deteriorates due to lack of sleep is due to blood pressure. Even a slight lack of sleep increases intravenous pressure throughout the body and swells the walls of blood vessels, and the resulting high blood pressure causes loss of heart function, ischemic heart disease, stroke, and kidney dysfunction. After all, many deaths from heart disease can be attributed to lack of sleep as the main cause.
Diabetes is also a problem directly related to lack of sleep. Lack of sleep increases the likelihood of overeating, which increases the risk of becoming overweight and obese and also increases the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Lack of sleep also increases the concentration of glucose in the body, and when high blood sugar lasts for weeks or years, the body’s tissues and organs are damaged. Eye disease that can lead to blindness, neurological disease that requires amputation, and kidney failure that will require dialysis or transplantation are all diseases that occur when a high level of sugar is the blood continues.
Dementia in old age is a disease that people want to avoid the most. Dementia focuses on the brain, and sleep plays an important role in awakening ‘brain’ function. In particular, memory expansion, consolidation, and oblivion are achieved through adequate sleep, but when there is a lack of sleep, memory consolidation does not proceed, leading to dementia. In fact, more than 60 percent of people with Alzheimer’s disease have one of several sleep disorders. Among them, insomnia, the inability to sleep, has the highest rate.
[독서신문 장서진 기자]
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