It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out poor sleep isn’t good for you. After all, how lousy you feel the next day should be the only clue you really need.
And since you’re a Healthier Talk reader, you also likely know that poor sleep can cause your risk for serious health problems to skyrocket over time.
But could bad sleep actually KILL? The answer might shock you.
Disturbing new research found sleep disruptions… including the kind you won’t even notice happening… could have DEADLY consequences.
And sorry, ladies, but we’re getting the short end of the stick again. Because this wake-up call of a study finds that while guys are at serious risk too, women face the biggest danger.
But I’m not here to give you nightmares. I’ve also got all the details about how you can spot the problem, identify the cause, and fix the issue, so you sleep better tonight and EVERY night for many years to come.
Death risk SOARS with this slumber problem
First up, let’s take a look at what’s really on the line here.
The new research, which is believed to be the first of its kind, shows how a specific form of poor sleep could send you to the big sleep. It’s called unconscious arousal, and it’s when you kinda-sorta wake up, but not fully.
You certainly won’t remember it by morning. But your body sure does.
These episodes rouse you from the phases of deep sleep that your body uses for rejuvenation. You see, as I’ve explained before, your body switches over into clean and repair mode when you’re deep asleep.
It’s during these phases of sleep that your brain gets flushed clean of toxins, and your body releases hormones to mend your cells, organs, and blood vessels. So anything that repeatedly interrupts this vital rejuvenation period could eventually contribute to disease and death from heart and blood vessel problems.
Women with the highest number of these types of sleep disturbances had DOUBLE the risk of death over the 11-year study period.
For men, that risk wasn’t quite as big. But it was nothing to rest easy over, either, as these disturbances can raise the odds of death for the guys by 25 percent.
FIND and FIX this ‘secret’ sleep disorder
So now you know the risk. But here’s the catch. Because you don’t TRULY wake up, you may never realize you’re even having these disruptions.
But you can look for the two major warning signs. The biggest one is waking up after what SHOULD have been a full night of sleep but feeling kind of crummy and unrested. Plus, daytime drowsiness is a big red flag that you’re not getting good sleep no matter how much time you spend in bed.
The next challenge is finding the reason for these episodes.
One common cause is sleep apnea. Apnea is marked by loud, often window-rattling snores followed by a long moment of total silence when you stop breathing in your sleep.
Those breathless moments lead to exactly the kinds of sleep disturbances we’re talking about here. They rouse you out of deep sleep, but you don’t fully gain consciousness before slipping back off to la-la land. And they’re likely why earlier studies have specifically linked apnea to chronic disease and premature death.
If you have sleep apnea (or suspect you do), a combo of weight loss and tongue exercises could help chase it away. Click here to discover how this weird tag-team works, plus, get the details about how to do the exercises.
A low melatonin level is another potential cause of these disturbances. Missing out on this vital “sleep hormone” not only can make it tough to fall asleep but can also trigger more wake-ups throughout the night.
If you suspect low melatonin, don’t just take any old supplement. Look for a time-released form. It won’t take effect as quickly but will last longer, so you won’t wake up as often.
Undiagnosed health problems, medication, hormones, and more can all lead to sleep disturbances. So if you can’t figure out what’s waking you up at night, speak to a naturopathic or integrative medicine doctor who can run some tests, get to the bottom of the issue, and help you FINALLY get a good night’s sleep.