Sleep research has been around for more than 90 years. In the last 15 years, though, researchers have been focusing on partial, or short, sleep rather than total sleep deprivation.
Such research looks at the way sleep affects cardiometobolic disease, the name given to disruption of a variety of physical and cognitive functions. These disruptions can affect basic skills such as appetite regulation and mood. Sleep researchers apparently are issuing the rest of us a wake-up call.
Each of us has an internal clock, a circadian rhythm that regulates our sleep needs. This is synchronized by the amount of sunlight we are exposed to.
But when we are tempted by the demands of our social clock — such as reading that last email, staying up for late-night TV, or going out and staying out late with our friends — we fall out of sync and the effects can take their toll. This circadian disruption often is at the core of numerous problems.
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