Sleep Should Be a National Health Priority Posted on July 13, 2012 by Chris Vasta We all know how important sleep is to our well-being. Those with sleep apnea, in particular, understand sleep deprivations negative impact on daily life. Because sleep apnea leads to daytime sleepiness and impaired alertness, people who are afflicted with it need to strive for quality sleep with the use of a CPAP machine. Because the benefits of a good night’s sleep are important for everyone, it should truly be a national health priority. CPAP machines go a long way toward achieving better sleep for sleep apnea patients. Once their condition has moderated, they can begin looking at other aspects of sleep. Unfortunately, there is little information available to teach people just why sleep is so important. Lack of sleep – less than six or seven hours per night for the average person – has been linked to high blood pressure and rising cholesterol levels. For people with sleep apnea, two recent studies, mentioned in the May 20, 2012 of The New York Times point to a link between this cancer and lack of sleep. Studies have also potentially linked breast and colon cancers among people who work at night and sleep during the day. A substance in the body called melatonin can suppress the growth of tumors. However, light lowers a person’s level of melatonin. People who work in the light at night and live and sleep in the light during the day may face more cancer risks than others. Clearly, it is well known that sleep reduces stress. CPAP machine technology has aided sleep apnea by helping to reduce stress in their daily Those with sleep apnea who use CPAP machines have better, more restful sleep than sleep apnea patients who don’t use the machines. As they continue to sleep better, sleep’s natural healing mechanisms go to work to reduce stress and make life overall more productive and enjoyable. During sleep, the body restores itself. Tension and stress are relieved and even inflammation in the body is reduced. People with sleep apnea don’t necessarily have any critical physical conditions, but if they do, quality sleep becomes even more important. As we age, inflammation is thought to be one of the causes of deterioration of the body as well as a contributing factor to various medical disorders. CPAP machine users can be thankful for the sleep and health benefits these machines can bring. If you’d like to read more about the benefits of sleep, you can access an article called Top 10 Health Benefits of a Good Night’s Sleep, written by Dr. Mark Stibich. Also review 8 surprising health benefits of quality rest, where it is pointed out that a person with sleep apnea can be in bed for eight or 10 hours and still not get the rest they need and how lack of sleep can shorten your life. It is obvious sleep should be considered a national health priority. More information should be available in order to educate the public on just how vital sleep is to our daily lives and well-being. Sleep apnea patients who use CPAP machines have taken one good step toward receiving the health benefits of good sleep, but more understanding is needed for them to truly reap all the benefits quality sleep can provide.