Dangers of Sleeplessness

Sleeplessness and insomnia aren’t just annoying. They can take an enormous toll on your health and well-being. In fact, lack of sleep can actually kill you. Research has shown that staying awake for 22 hours in a row can impair your reflexes and reaction time as much as being legally drunk. Consider these statistics:

    • Fatigue helps cause 100,000 auto crashes and 1,550 crash-related deaths a year in the U.S.
    • Fatigue was a contributing factor in the nuclear meltdown in Chernobyl, Ukraine and the near-meltdown at Three Mile Island in Pennsylvania.
    • NASA researchers believe that pilot fatigue is a factor in 15-20% of all airline accidents. According to airline surveys, as many as 90% of pilots admit they have dozed off in the cockpit.
    • The Exxon Valdez grounding and environmental disaster in Alaska occurred because the ship’s pilot fell asleep at the helm.
Lack of sleep causes 100,000 car crashes in the U.S. annually.

Lack of sleep causes 1,500 car crash deaths in the U.S. annually.

Chronic sleeplessness disrupts hormones and impairs the body’s ability to process sugar (blood glucose) to the level of diabetes in some cases, according to a study from the University of Chicago. Other studies have linked lack of sleep with increased stress hormone levels, which leads to weight gain.

A British study showed that lack of sleep doubled the risk of death from heart disease. Another British experiment showed that just one less hour of sleep a night turned on genes related to inflammation, immune system suppression, cancer risk, and diabetes.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, around 9 million Americans take sleeping pills. The CDC does not keep statistics on other herbal sleep remedies like L-Tryptophan, Chamomile, or Valerian, or insomnia treatments such as hypnosis, but millions more people use natural home remedies to relieve sleeplessness and anxiety.