According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, insufficient sleep has been linked to the development and management of a number of chronic diseases and conditions, including type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, obesity, and depression.

As reported by the CDC Sleep and Sleep Disorders:

Diabetes

Research has found that insufficient sleep is linked to an increased risk for the development of type 2 diabetes. Specifically, sleep duration and quality have emerged as predictors of levels of Hemoglobin A1c, an important marker of blood sugar control. Recent research suggests that optimizing sleep duration and quality may be an important means of improving blood sugar control in persons with type 2 diabetes.

Cardiovascular Disease

Persons with sleep apnea have been found to be at increased risk for a number of cardiovascular diseases. Notably, hypertension, stroke, coronary heart disease and irregular heartbeats (cardiac arrhythmias) have been found to be more common among those with disordered sleep than their peers without sleep abnormalities. Likewise, sleep apnea and hardening of the arteries (atherosclerosis) appear to share some common physiological characteristics, further suggesting that sleep apnea may be an important predictor of cardiovascular disease.

Obesity

Laboratory research has found that short sleep duration results in metabolic changes that may be linked to obesity. [Other] studies conducted in the community have also revealed an association between short sleep duration and excess body weight.

Depression

The relationship between sleep and depression is complex. While sleep disturbance [is a] symptom of depression, recent research has indicated that …symptoms [of depression] may decrease once sleep apnea has been effectively treated and sufficient sleep restored.

Testing, Diagnosing and Treating Sleep Disorders

If you are having trouble sleeping, talk with your primary care physician. The Sleep Medicine program at Lawrence Memorial Hospital provides comprehensive care for the testing, diagnosing and treatment of sleep disorders.