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  • Are you getting enough sleep? It’s a question that might not seem to have serious health implications. But if you are short on sleep you may actually be facing a bigger health risk than you think.

    And it is not just about being grumpy and tired. There are more ways a lack of sleep can impact your health.

    Bad sleeping habits can put you at risk of heart disease and it can affect young and old according to research. And risks go up with too little sleep, or too much.

    Irregular sleep habits can increase risks for a variety of cardiovascular disorders: clogged or hardened arteries, high blood pressure, irregular heartbeat, and stroke, as well as metabolic problems such as high cholesterol, obesity and diabetes that all contribute to cardiovascular disease.

    Researchers believe that the optimum sleep time is seven to nine hours a day, though studies have shown that a third of adults get only six hours which can lead to sleep deprivation.

    Social media and sleep loss 

    Part of the problem—especially in today's digital age—is that we are 'always on'. Social media sleep deprivation is now a ‘thing’: we sit up at night checking Facebook – or alternatively, the reverse problem - we are checking Facebook because we can’t sleep.

    It's not just phones - TV, computers and emails are all standing between us and a good night’s sleep. And that is a problem.

    Along with diet and exercise, sufficient sleep is essential for efficient functioning and long-term wellness. As well as taking care of your heart a good night’s sleep helps your immune system, prevents diabetes, boosts mental wellbeing and improves your sex drive.

    But do you know whether you have a sleep problem? Because not everyone does. Philips recently completed a two-year, large-scale study on obstructive sleep apnoea—a condition in which a person’s breathing either pauses or becomes extremely shallow during sleep—and found that over 6% suffered from sleep apnea. Even more startling, it found that 78% of those diagnosed were unaware they were suffering from the sleep apnea disorder.

    While many people aren’t aware of the true health implications of sleep shortage, there is no better time to learn than now. If you want to find whether you suffer from sleep apnea take our quiz or to find out more about the health benefits of 40 winks, click here

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