Lack of sleep can lead to deadly diseases

Lack of sleep can lead to deadly diseases

(WTVM) - Lack of sleep is a dangerous thing and not getting enough can lead to deadly consequences.

"People get between four and six hours and that is not good. You are really depriving yourself of not just sleep, but a good healthy life as well. It releases a lot of stress chemicals and you are so much more likely to have diabetes, hypertension and heart disease," explains Renae Davis, Manager of the Sleep Disorder Center at EAMC.

95% of patients at the East Alabama Medical Center's Sleep Disorder Center are diagnosed with sleep apnea, or having pauses in breathing while you sleep that can last at least ten seconds.

Sleep apnea can be treated with a CPAP device that looks like a mask.

"The scary thing is people actually do this 200 to 300 times a night and when you are doing that over and over again it really puts a lot of stress on your heart, but also your organs in your body because your depriving them of the oxygen you need," says Davis.

"If I don't have my TV in my room, my cell phone next to bed then I'll definitely get more sleep, but I don't if I'm willing to make that sacrifice that yet," says Valley resident, Anthony Bacigalupi.

Attention-seeking devices like televisions, cell phones and tablets take a good chunk of the blame for the 1/3 of Americans not getting sleep at night.

"It's hard to shut it off sometimes, but those lights actually do cause a chemical reaction in your brain that changes your sleep cycle and it will actually throw you off if you do it on a regular basis," explains Carter.

90 percent of people with sleep disorders have not been identified and if you do believe you could be suffering from one, a trip to the Disorder Center can help.

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