Unfortunately, sometimes it takes real situations to reiterate just how dangerous sleep deprivation truly is.
The Huffington Post is reporting the death of a 39-year-old Chinese soccer fan who died from a stroke after staying up 48 hours straight to watch the 2014 FIFA World Cup games. After the match between Costa Rica and Uruguay on June 14, he was rushed to the hospital where doctors found a brain hemorrhage.
This isn’t the only death being reported with a possible connection to chronic sleep loss and the World Cup. After the Spain vs. Netherlands game, a 25-year-old man was found in his home dead, with sleep deprivation also being suspected of having an impact.
Due to the 2014 FIFA World Cup games being held in Brazil, the 11 hour time difference is causing Chinese fans to stay up all night to follow the intense action, which didn’t end until about 3 a.m. In fact, since the World Cup games began, Shanghai hospitals have reported an increased amount patients being treated for fatigue.
While extreme sleep deprivation isn’t known to be directly connected to these deaths, numerous studies have shown the association between health risks and chronic sleep loss, namely the risk of experiencing a stroke. In 2012, one study found that people who slept less than 6 hours a night had a 4.5x increased risk of experiencing a stroke, compared to those who slept 7-8 hours each night.
Chronic sleep loss has also been linked to an increased risk of diabetes, poor memory, decreased immune system, obesity, heart disease, low sperm count, and poor cognitive function. As exciting as life can get sometimes, we have to remember that our bodies simply can’t go without sleep. Make the adjustments where need to make sure you stay on track with your snooze!