Short sleep, which affects about 70 million US adults, has a significant influence on our overall health. These periods of short sleep can be classified in different ranges, however for the purpose of this study, is classified as 6 hours or shorter. The primary symptom of short sleep syndrome is consistently sleeping six hours or less and feeling fully functional the next day. Short sleep patterns typically evolve throughout adolescence and early adulthood.
On average, adults are not sleeping the recommended 7-9 hours per night. This can cause fatigue, anxiety and depression, creating a cycle of additional loss of sleep and/or insomnia. People who experience difficulty initiating or maintaining sleep, 3 times per week or more, represent 30% of the population.
Sleep deprivation arising from short sleep causes changes in the nervous system and other biological mechanisms. This deficit can be a consequence of lifestyle habits, environmental factors or the presence of a sleep disorder, which can be associated with increased health risks such as cardiovascular disease, hypertension, obesity and diabetes (not to mention a higher mortality rate).
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