'Catastrophic' sleep is killing people, say scientists

Research shows that many people are not sleeping enough. This is having a serious impact on health. A sleep expert from the University of California warned that a "catastrophic sleep-misfortune plague" is putting us in danger of ill health. He said a lack of sleep puts us at risk from many possibly deadly diseases. The professor said we need eight hours sleep a night and if we don't get that, we will have a shorter life. He added that the effect of not sleeping enough negatively impacts every single aspect of our health and every part of our body.

The professor warned that a lack of sleep causes diseases like Alzheimer's, cancer, heart disease, obesity and diabetes. He warned that we do not totally understand the very serious, "catastrophic" consequences of not getting eight hours a night. He explained why we are sleeping less: "First, we electrified the night. Light is a profound degrader of our sleep." He blamed longer working hours and longer commuting times, a desire to be with friends rather than sleep, mobile devices, and alcohol and caffeine. He also blamed anxiety and said: "We're a lonelier, more depressed society."