Your article brought to mind how this affects me. I’m a firefighter, so prone to sleep deprivation. I have noticed that when sleep patterns are repeatedly interrupted by emergency calls, I tend to be more susceptible to illness. This is anecdotal but seems to hold true for my colleagues and me.

Ryan Smith
Forest Grove, Ore.

I shouldn’t worry too much about adults, who should have enough sense to recognize their body’s needs. The concern should be with children, from toddlers to teens, who have routinely been allowed by parents to stay up to the point of and beyond crabby tiredness. What physically and mentally damaging consequences result from such early-established lack-of-sleep patterns?

Renee Weiss
Hillsboro, N.M.

Critics of the hypothesis that sleep loss can lead to disease perhaps forget that stress ruins both our sleep and our health. Multiple studies will be needed to tease apart these effects. My bias? I’m exposed to contagious illness frequently in hospitals and nursing homes. If I skimp on the shut-eye, I’m sick, too.

Cheryl Arnold
Lowell, Ohio

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