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Sleep & Wakefulness

Harmful Effects of Sleep Deprivation or Excess

At the physical level some of the benefits include a reduction in heart and blood circulatory diseases; prevention or delayed onset of type 2 diabetes; protection against some forms of cancer; the delayed formation of facial wrinkles; and markedly reduced vulnerability to infection.

The mental benefits include a decrease in the likelihood of developing depression; enhanced job performance; manual skills are picked up more effectively; and psychological performance is enhanced.

Sleep debt is often overlooked as an aggravating factor in many illnessesToday’s fast lifestyle can lead to chronic sleep debt, which may result in serious health problems. If a person does not get enough sleep, it will affect the person’s mental, physical and emotional states. Troubled sleep indicates that a disease may be developing. Badly disturbed sleep could lead to headaches, nervousness, mood swings, irritability, lethargy, depression and lack of concentration.

Just as a lack of sleep can be harmful, excessive sleep, which increases the qualities of coldness and moistness, will also negatively affect health by causing a reduction in energy levels.  Over long periods, this can lead to increased muscle weakness, and upset both digestion and metabolism. It can also dull the mind, build up phlegm in the body, lead to a slow heart rate, weaken the memory and lead to low blood pressure.