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Sleep Deprivation - #1 Killer in America

Recently, I heard a clip-on social media from an old interview with Dick Gregory. At the time of the interview, Mr. Gregory was 74 years old. He mentioned that neither he nor his wife at this age were on any prescription medicines. He attributed this to the fact that they slept well, drank plenty of water and moved their bodies. He went on to state that the #1 cause of death was sleep deprivation. In all honesty, this is when I stopped listening. My thought immediately went something like this: ”sleep deprivation, nah that can’t be true, let me google it".

Sleep deprivation means that you’re getting less sleep than is required. For example, it is recommended that adults get between 7 to 9 hours of sleep per night. Yes, prolonged sleep deprivation can eventually lead to many health problems even death. According to sleep deprivation causes memory issues, mood changes, weakened immunity, accidents, high blood pressure, risk for diabetes, weight gain, low sex drive, risk of heart disease and poor balance. For reference, heart disease, cancer, accidents, stroke, diabetes, and Alzheimer are the top killers of Americans.

Honestly, this wasn’t news to me. I just hadn’t heard the statement about the lack of sleep framed that way before. Y’all he was right! The good news is sleep deprivation is preventable. Just like many of the leading causes of death in America. Information on getting good sleep is everywhere. Many companies have developed technologies to aid in getting good rest. Mattresses are smart and can memorize and adjust according to your body. We’ve even written a couple of blogs on the topic: Tips to Ensure Sleep and Healing Your Body Through Sleep. There are many free apps out there, etc. I encourage you to spend time observing your habits and your bodies responses to things like the food you eat, too much or too little exercise, social media usage, etc. to figure this thing out for yourself.

In closing, if you have diabetes, unexplained weight gain or any of the effects of sleep deprivation mentioned above, take the time to figure out why you aren’t sleeping. Watch how good you feel when you get consistent good nights of sleep. It really is a matter of life or death.


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