As nurses, I feel like we rarely get the sleep that we need.  We get just about enough to be functional and then we're off!  Do you think it really matters how much sleep we get?  What is not enough (or too much) sleep linked to?  Maybe this short article will change your mind about how much sleep you should be getting between shifts.  

How your health impacts your sleep

By: Nikki Hopewell

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Your health may be directly affecting how much sleep you get—particularly if you are in poor health. According to a new study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), getting too little sleep (six hours or less) and getting too much sleep (10 hours or more) may be linked to chronic conditions in adults age 45 and older.

The study, published in the October issue of the journal SLEEP, involved more than 54,000 participants age 45 or older in 14 states. Participants who slept six hours or less, short sleepers, and participants who slept 10 hours or more, long sleepers, were both compared to those who slept an average of seven to nine hours in a 24-hour period.

Results of the study revealed that those who slept too little reported more coronary heart disease, stroke and diabetes along with obesity and frequent mental distress compared to those who slept seven to nine hours. The same was true for those who slept too long, and the link to the same chronic conditions were even more pronounced with more sleep.

“It’s critical that adults aim for seven to nine hours of sleep each night to receive the health benefits of sleep, but this is especially true for those battling a chronic condition,” said Dr. M. Safwan Badr, president of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, in a statement.

Common sleep illnesses—including sleep apnea and insomnia—occur frequently in people with a chronic disease and can hinder your ability to sleep soundly,” Dr. Badr said. “So if you’re waking up exhausted, speak with a sleep physician to see if there’s a problem. If you are diagnosed with a sleep illness, treating it could significantly improve disease symptoms and your quality of life.”

AuthorCourtney Tracy