London : Leading researchers have revealed that society has become “supremely arrogant” in ignoring the importance of sleep, says ANI.
Scientists from Oxford, Cambridge, Harvard, Manchester and Surrey universities warn cutting sleep is leading to “serious health problems”, the BBC reported. They say people and governments need to take the problem seriously. Cancer, heart disease, type-2 diabetes, infections and obesity have all been linked to reduced sleep.
The body clock drives huge changes in the human body. It alters alertness, mood, physical strength and even the risk of a heart attack in a daily rhythm. It stems from our evolutionary past when we were active in the day and resting at night. But scientists have warned that modern life and 24-hour society mean many people are now “living against” their body clocks with damaging consequences for health and wellbeing.
Prof Russell Foster, at the University of Oxford, said people were getting between one and two hours less sleep a night than 60 years ago. Emerging evidence suggests modern technology is now keeping us up later into the night and cutting sleep.
“What we do as a species, perhaps uniquely, is override the clock. And long-term acting against the clock can lead to serious health problems,” said Prof Foster.
He said this is an issue affecting the whole society and not just shift workers. This problem is increasingly becoming prominent in children and many teenagers take their parents sleeping pill.
Recent studies also suggest that modern technology is partly responsible for keeping people awake at night. The light emitted from smartphones, tablets and computers further disrupts the internal body clock.
“Light exposure, especially short wavelength blue-ish light in the evening, will reset our circadian rhythms to a later hour, postponing the release of the sleep-promoting hormone melatonin and making it more difficult for us to get up in the morning,” says Prof Foster, according to BBC.