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Sleep struggle is a health risk

A bad night’s sleep may cause more problems than just spending the next day walking around in a fog. Poor sleep is associated with greater psychological distress as well as an increased risk of cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes, say Duke University Medical Center researchers. Their study of more than 200 healthy, middle-aged, nonsmoking men and women indicated that poor sleep—measured by the total amount of sleep, the degree of nighttime wakening and how long it takes to get to sleep—may have more serious consequences for women. For women, poor sleep was associated with increased levels of C-reactive protein and interleukin-6, measures of inflammation in the blood linked to heart disease and higher insulin levels. Study authors say the longer it takes a person to fall asleep, the greater the risk. Women taking a half-hour or more to fall asleep had the worst risk profiles.