Posted by: Energizer Bunny | 2009/01/26

Little sleep &  health

Hi Doc

On average I sleep about 4-5 hours a night. I go to the gym practically every day after work and over weekends for 1 hour at a time. The only times I feel tired is when I become bored (sometimes at work for instance) or often from about 10pm (especially if I'  ve had an intense workout) and then I feel REALLY tired- I feel lightheaded, my eyes struggle to focus and my body feels about as heavy as a whale. Also, no matter at what time I go to bed, I ALWAYS wake up early (say between 5 and 6am, sometimes even earlier). A while ago I also woke up a couple of times during the night every few nights for about a month or so. That, fortunately, has passed.

I'  ve done an extensive bit of reading on the subject of sleep but I must admit that I still haven'  t come to a conclusion on whether or not I can continue sleeping as little as I do without it having some detrimental effect on my short term and/or long term health. It is said that the amout of sleep needed differs from individual to individual and that some people can function normally with 4 hours, whereas others need 8-9 hours a night. However, it is also said that lack of sleep increases the chances of developing heart disease, cancer, etc.

I am quite confused and would appreciate your opinion on the matter. Is something wrong with me, physically.. or psychologically...?

Thank you :-)

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageSleep Expert

You will need to be evaluated by a sleep doctor. The fact that you are tired tells me that there is either something wrong with the quality or with the quantity of your sleep. There are dozens of possible different causes, and this will need a full evaluation by someone who understands the conditions.

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

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