Do you still think sleep is a luxury?

People who sleep less are more likely to be overweight, in part because they move less and eat more.  People who work night shifts have more diabetes and cancer.  Some sleep loss is inevitable:  newborns, working to support children.  But is it worth it to work overtime for a fancier car, when it means less sleep and more weight?  Is Jay Leno that funny that he’s worth missing sleep for?

And students:  pulling all nighters before an exam is probably the worse thing – memory is consolidated during sleep.

Studies from the University of Pennsylvania show that when sleep is interrupted,

The 24-hour internal clock controls many aspects of human behavior and physiology, including sleep, blood pressure, and metabolism. Disruption in circadian rhythms leads to increased incidence of many diseases, including metabolic disease and cancer. Each cell of the body has its own internal timing mechanism, which is controlled by proteins that keep one another in check.

…the Lazar team discovered molecules that act as “shift workers” to maintain the daily rhythm of fat metabolism. When those molecules do not do their jobs, the liver also dramatically fills with fat.

Fatty liver associated with obesity and sleep apnea may surpass alcohol as a cause for liver cirrhosis in the future.  Save your liver – get more sleep, and eat/drink less sugar!

I use a sleep mask and ear plugs and often take melatonin to help with sleep.  I also try to maintain a consistent bed time of 10pm.

Dr John Ellis MD

Board-certified anesthesiologist, with expertise in cardiovascular anesthesia and the implications of obesity and sleep apnea in anesthesia. See vascularanesthesia.com for professional information. Dr. Ellis has used the strategies in here to: (1) lose 120 lbs over 18 months, (2) stop all antihypertensive medicines, and (3) no longer need CPAP treatment for sleep apnea.

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