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Lack of sleep is not only tiring but also dangerous, health expert warns

By Vaseline May26,2024

SHAH ALAM – Sleep disorders not only lead to nights of tossing and turning, but are also linked to serious long-term health risks including cardiovascular disease and mental disorders, says Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM) public health physician Associate Professor Dr .Halimatus Sakdiah Minhat.

Halimatus emphasized that poor sleep quality significantly increases the risk of high blood pressure, heart disease and stroke.

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“Insomnia, including difficulty falling asleep or waking up frequently, is considered a chronic condition if it occurs three times a week for more than three months,” she told Sinar when contacted recently.

She noted that chronic sleep deprivation is not only linked to cardiovascular disease, but also to mental health problems such as depression and anxiety, substance abuse, a weakened immune system, cognitive decline and reduced quality of life.

She said it can also lead to long-term consequences such as diabetes and obesity.

A recent study by Sonno, Malaysia’s leading sleep company, highlighted the alarming extent of sleep-related problems. It showed that nine out of ten residents, or 87.2 percent, report problems such as insomnia, waking up often or having difficulty falling asleep.

The study interviewed 212 people in Malaysia last January.

Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM) Public Health Physician Associate Professor Dr Halimatus Sakdiah Minhat

Halimatus also pointed out the immediate consequences of sleep disorders, including extreme fatigue, emotional disturbances and reduced cognitive skills, which manifest as forgetfulness, lack of focus and decision-making problems.

“People who suffer from chronic insomnia experience significantly lower energy levels throughout the day, often accompanied by headaches, dizziness or muscle weakness,” she added.

Prolonged sleep deprivation can lead to serious emotional instability.

“Individuals with insomnia are five times more likely to develop depression than those without sleep problems,” she said, highlighting the profound impact insomnia has on memory, concentration and overall performance.

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