Unraveling can lead to depression, anxiety and even diabetes

Not sleeping the right hours can affect the immune, cardiovascular, metabolic and neurological system, and lead to depression, anxiety and even diabetes, a specialist today warned.

The psychiatrist Margarita Reyes Zúñiga, attached to the Sleep Medicine Unit of the National Institute of Respiratory Diseases (INER), explained today that sleeping the right hours is as important as eating a balanced diet or doing physical activity.

“Not sleeping causes the body to keep the alert system activated, so there is an increase in adrenaline secretion that causes an increase in heart rate, sweating, heart palpitations, headache, anxiety, anguish and irritability,” he said.

Another consequence of sleep deprivation is the weakening of the immune system so it is less fortified to fight infections.

In relation to metabolic problems, diabetes, hypertension and hypercholesterolemia, the specialist mentioned that sleep deprivation causes our appetite to increase and by eating more food, blood glucose and other metabolic parameters can be altered.

Reyes Zúñiga explained that the hours of sleep are changing according to age, for example, newborns must sleep 18 hours, preschoolers between 10 and 12 hours, while teenagers eight hours and adults at least seven hours.

According to the results of the National Survey of Health and Nutrition of Midway 2016 (Ensanut), 40% of adults sleep less than seven hours.

It is estimated that 60% of children of school age sleep less than 9 hours, “which partially explains the epidemic of childhood obesity in the country.”

He concluded that in order to avoid alterations in the sleep cycle in the adult population, one should try to lie down and get up at the same time, do not consume coffee or alcohol at night, avoid exercise three hours before going to bed and have a light snack.

It is also advisable to have a comfortable, dark, quiet bedroom that is not too warm or too cold.

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