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Top Universities Criticize Society for Neglecting Sleep

A recent report in news health documents sentiments from top university researchers who criticize “people and governments” for being “supremely arrogant” in ignoring the importance of sleep. The researchers from Oxford, Cambridge, Harvard, Manchester and Surrey universities told BBC’s Day of the Body Clock that lack of sleep was leading to “serious health problems.”

The scientists listed cancer, heart disease, type-2 diabetes, infections, and obesity as all being linked to reduced sleep. Prof Russell Foster, at the University of Oxford, said in the article that people were getting between one and two hours less sleep a night than 60 years ago. He said: “We are the supremely arrogant species; we feel we can abandon four billion years of evolution and ignore the fact that we have evolved under a light-dark cycle. 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.”

Reporter James Gallagher points out that emerging evidence suggests modern technology is now keeping us up later into the night and cutting sleep. “Light is the most powerful synchroniser of your internal biological clock,” said Prof Charles Czeisler, from Harvard University, in BBC’s Day of the Body Clock.

He said energy efficient light bulbs as well as smart phones, tablets and computers had high levels of light in the blue end of the spectrum which is “right in the sweet spot” for disrupting the body clock.

Source: BBC Health

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