Why loss of sleep is ‘having a catastrophic impact on our health’

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According to neuroscientist Matthew Walker, I’m doing serious damage to my health—and life—by not sleeping enough.

“The decimation of sleep throughout industrialized nations is having a catastrophic impact on our health, our wellness, even the safety and education of our children. It’s a silent sleep-loss epidemic.”

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He ran down all the ways in which sleep deprivation hurts people: it makes you dumber, more forgetful, unable to learn new things, more vulnerable to dementia, more likely to die of a heart attack, less able to fend off sickness with a strong immune system, and more likely to get cancer, and it makes your body literally hurt more.

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“The disruption of deep sleep is contributing to cognitive decline,” Walker says—in aging patients at risk of or already experiencing dementia, and even in healthy people. “You need sleep after learning, to essentially hit the save button on those new memories so you don’t forget. But recently we’ve discovered that you also need sleep before learning, almost like a dry sponge to suck up new information. Without sleep, the brain becomes essentially waterlogged.”

Read full, original post: You’re not getting enough sleep—and it’s killing you

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