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WSU professor, sleep researcher explains health risks of long-term sleep deprivation

October 17, 2013

Getting enough sleep often gets overlooked in the rush to squeeze more hours into the day. Ignoring that need, however, can lead to serious health consequences: Sleep deprivation jeopardizes your safety, ability to concentrate, mental stability and long-term well-being. Chronic sleep deprivation - consistently not receiving enough sleep - amplifies these problems and increases health risks because your body cannot replenish itself. "You're building up a sleep debt. Every single night you're adding to that debt, and unless you pay down that debt on a regular basis, you will see an effect on your ability to think and to perform," said Christopher Drake, a sleep researcher at the Henry Ford Sleep Disorders Center and an associate professor of psychiatry and behavioral neurosciences at the Wayne State University School of Medicine.