Nodding off behind the wheel isn’t the only threat from a lack of shut-eye. There’s growing evidence that people who regularly sleep too little and at the wrong time suffer long-lasting consequences that a nap won’t cure: An increased risk of diabetes, heart disease and other health problems.
Up to 70 million Americans are estimated to suffer from chronic problems with sleep, from insomnia to sleep apnea. Impaired sleep has been linked to high blood pressure, heart disease, obesity, depression, memory impairment and a weakened immune system. Still another concern: The World Health Organization has classified night shift work as a probable carcinogen, because too much light at night may hamper a hormone involved both with sleep and suppressing tumor cells.
Talk to local doctors about the importance of sleep and how people can make adjustments in their daily schedules to insure they are getting enough.
Do local businesses that have shift workers pay attention to the sleep needs of employees? In what ways do they make sure they have well-rested workers?
Look at ways people can insure a good night's sleep, including avoiding too much stimulation or caffeine right before bedtime.