Sleep deprivation triggers diabetes, hypertension and low libido

Sleep deprivation triggers diabetes, hypertension and low libido. Picture: Pexels

Sleep deprivation triggers diabetes, hypertension and low libido. Picture: Pexels

Published Mar 12, 2024


Adults find themselves engulfed by life’s daily events, from work, relationships, social lives and now, keeping up with social media, they rarely find time to sleep the required 6-8 hours, which threatens their well-being.

To address this issue, Anneke Meyer, a pharmacist at Medipost Pharmacy, South Africa’s leading national courier pharmacy, explained the significance of sleep for one’s overall health.

“Sleep is more than just rest, it’s a cornerstone of a healthy lifestyle. Adults typically need seven to eight hours of sleep each night, to support healthy brain activity and overall well-being,” she said.

According to Meyer, 62% of adults globally are deprived of sleep, which leads to unhealthy long-term side effects to the human body. “Insufficient sleep can impair cognitive function and increase the risk of chronic conditions, such as cardiovascular disease, dementia and diabetes,” she said.

HealthLine, a health online publication, stated inadequate sleep leads to memory loss, lack of concentration, mood changes: lack of sleep causes a change in moods, and when not treated it can lead to depression and anxiety.

Sleep deprivation poses extreme risks to road accidents: a driver may cause accidents when they did not get enough sleep; weight gain, diabetes and hypertension; and a low sex drive.

Meyer noted some people face chronic sleeping disorders, such as Insomnia which can be treated with over-the-counter medication, but must be consumed with caution according to the required dosage, and avoid side effects.

“Persistent sleep issues warrant professional attention, and anyone experiencing chronic insomnia or sleep disturbances should consult a health-care provider promptly. While medication may offer relief, the importance of careful management due to their addictive nature, and potential side effects cannot be emphasised enough. Chronic medication management is particularly crucial for those with coexisting health conditions,” she said.

Beside chronic insomnia, Meyer advised people to follow a consistent sleep schedule, create a sleep-friendly environment; avoid heavy meals, caffeine, alcohol and smoking before bed; exercise regularly and especially, keep electronic devices out of the bedroom to prevent and combat sleep deprivation.

The Star

Hope Mafu