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Jun 21, 2018

Healthy Living Looks at the Effects of Sleep Deprivation

Are you getting enough sleep? If you manage to get anywhere between seven to nine hours a night then you’re doing great. If it is less than that, then, you may want to listen up. Tonight on Healthy Living we explore the effects of sleep deprivation on your health.


Marleni Cuellar, Reporting

Using the standard of eight hours per night, we should all spend about one-third of our life asleep. But let’s be honest, with the increase demands on our time each day sleeping less may feel like the only way to keep up. This approach is counterproductive as not sleeping enough may do you more harm than good. Neurosurgeon Dr. Joel Cervantes explains.


Joel Cervantes

Dr. Joel Cervantes, Neurosurgeon

“Sleep restores the brain. If we sleep we recover from functions we have during the daytime it’s as easy as that. So sleep is to repair the body for the hours we are going to be awake.  So when we are sleeping even though we. We may seem to be immobile and we may not be responding to the outside environment around us, when we are sleeping actually our brain is not shut off. It’s just other processes are very highly active and other processes — our daytime ones — are either shut off or in slow mode.”


Children do need more sleep than adults. But adults still need an average of seven to eight hours of sleep per night. Having a long night or early morning every now and again will leave you sleep deprived. If you continuously deprive yourself of sleep then you may be experience the effects of chronic sleep deprivation.


Dr. Joel Cervantes

“It does a lot of problems to the body. When we talk about sleep deprivation it can be something acute. Or it can be something chronic. If we cheat it ends up taking toll in the short term in the medium term and telling term and we end up leading shorter lives so if we live longer lives we need up being very sick.  These are basically what we call degenerative conditions. High blood pressure, diabetes, obesity, problems like sleep apnea, not being able to sleep well at night. Problems like what we said before high cholesterol and triglycerides we call dyslipidemia. Those are the most commons things and also mental health issues. People are frustrated you have a short fuse at work. You’re driving and easily getting road rage and you don’t know why. You have no patience, easy irritated with your kids, your colleagues at work, your best friends and you’re irritable. Another angle to it is that we can pick up even a common cold. Or a loss stool – gastrointestinal disorder our immune system is going to go down and this is going to affect people by getting flu every two weeks every three weeks. What’s wrong with me? Look at how you’re sleeping.”


Scientists now believe that lack of sleep can also increase your risk for cancer.


Dr. Joel Cervantes

“Sleep is a part of a glance in the body called homeostasis. Being awake for a certain amount of hours and sleeping for another amount hours. Cancer can come around when we don’t have homeostasis. We don’t have equilibrium and when that equilibrium is lost and certain functions the body starts to react in a certain way that over time we may pick up certain types of cancers.”


What about filling in the gaps with naps?


Dr. Joel Cervantes

“Naps can help. It’s not good that if you feel you need to nap that you should struggle against it. Take a nap. It helps to restore your body a bit but don’t fool yourself. Don’t think that a nap will substitute for a good a good night’s sleep. Some people say I took a one hour nap so now I can sleep one hour later. Not so. These little nods for five, to, fifteen minutes or at least in your mind. It helps but only to get through the day and you must program your mind to say that when I reach home I’m going to have a full night’s sleep.”


Doctor Cervantes advises leading a balanced life to develop a better sleep pattern. And, as tempted as you may be, he does not recommend sleeping pills as a remedy.


Dr. Joel Cervantes

“You can’t give a pill and expect it to fix the problem. You need to find what the problem is as it respects to sleep and address that problem for sleep deprivation to dog away.”

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Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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