Sleep deprivation in modern society is killing people. A “catastrophic sleep-loss epidemic” is causing a host of potentially fatal diseases, a leading expert has said. Being workaholic is good, but being sleepaholic is great.
According to Professor Matthew Walker, sleep deprivation is not taken seriously enough in modern society. He says that it is killing people, because the less you sleep, the less you live.
Walker is the director of the Center for Human Sleep Science at the University of California, Berkeley, whose aim is to understand everything about sleeping and its impact on every aspect of people’s lives, from birth to death.
He believes that there is a “powerful” link between a lack of sleep and cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, diabetes, obesity, heart disease, and other more serious conditions and that it’s extremely important that people get the recommended eight hours of sleep or more.
“No aspect of our biology is left unscathed by sleep deprivation,” Walker said. “It sinks down into every possible nook and cranny. And yet no one is doing anything about it. Things have to change: in the workplace and our communities, our homes and families.”
“First, we electrified the night. Light is a profound degrader of our sleep. Second, there is the issue of work: not only the porous borders between when you start and finish but longer commuter times, too. No one wants to give up time with their family or entertainment, so they give up sleep instead,” said Walker about why people are sleeping less.
On the other hand, the ones who are constantly sleep-deprived tend to treat it like a “badge of honor” and don’t admit in public they need to have eight hours of sleep every night.
Summing things up, Walker stressed that humans are the only species in the animal kingdom that, for no good reason, deprive themselves of sleep.