The Danger of Sleep Deprivation
Not getting enough sleep can have a definite impact on your life. Whether it’s from insomnia, sleep apnea, Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS), or another sleep disorder, the danger of sleep deprivation is undeniable, manifesting in both minor and major ways and creating problems for your work, school, and day-to-day activities.
Your body requires a certain amount of sleep in order to function properly and if it doesn’t get enough, it will naturally try to find ways to reconcile the problem. For many, a solution isn’t always easy to find.
Many people don’t even recognize they have a problem, to begin with, failing to note the subtle symptoms and then, not taking the time to investigate the possible causes. If your body doesn’t get a sufficient amount of sleep, the effects can begin with fatigue and overall drowsiness.
You may feel tired during the day, which could ultimately impact your physical and mental health. For older people, sleep deprivation typically means that restorative sleep is lacking so their bodies aren’t recharging properly for the next day. This pattern accumulates until it becomes a true medical condition that requires attention.
Another physical effect that a lack of sleep can result in is weight change – in particular, weight gain. One of the benefits of quality sleep is that your hormone levels are regulated.
But if you suffer from sleep deprivation, then your hormone levels grow to be imbalanced and as a result, some of your psychological processes – such as appetite – also change. You may feel hungry when you’re not – or in some cases, not full when you are.
Chronic sleeplessness can also lead to depression, irritability, and impatience. Unfortunately, emotional frustration is one symptom that people may feel they don’t need to address.
Some may even fail to see how their mood swings and emotional outbursts or breakdowns are linked to sleep, choosing to assign the blame elsewhere and focusing attention away from the real cause: a lack of sleep.
The dangers of sleep deprivation to one’s physical and emotional well-being range from slurred speech and anger to a slow breakdown of the body’s immune system, making you susceptible to injury, the common cold, and more.
Have you ever driven your car while drowsy? The inherent danger is obvious. And while it may be a dramatic example, it’s also one that’s all too common – a powerful illustration of how important it is to get enough sleep.
Proper sleep is a vital component to being healthy and it needs to be treated with the same concern and care that your other healthcare issues receive. The consequences of ignoring your sleep deprivation could be harmful to yourself or another person, depending on the circumstances.
What Are the Best Sleep Aids on the Market?
Not getting enough sleep can be detrimental to both your mental and physical well being. At the very least, you’ll feel cranky or like you’re in a cloud when you don’t get enough sleep.
At its worst, a loss f sleep can begin impairing your physical health. A lack of sleep has been linked to an increased risk of heart disease, depression, obesity, and even cancer! If you want to stay healthy, you’ll get plenty of rest.
But what if it doesn’t come that easy for you? What if you craw into bed by 8 o’clock and can’t drift off to dreamland until five hours later? What happens to many men and women, and if you’re one of them, you might want to seek out the best sleeping aids on the market, which are:
- Sleep Apnea Masks – if you find you’re snoring and gasping for breath as you stop breathing during the night, asleep apnea mask might be the cure for you. These masks force air through your airways, helping you get a good night’s rest, but also potentially saving your life.
- Sleep Mattresses – it might just be a better mattress that you need. Is yours old or outdated? Is it too firm or not firm enough? You might want to invest in a mattress that can help cradle you into a slumber.
- Sleep Medication – there is a variety of prescribed and over the counter sleeping aids in a medicinal form that might help you fall asleep (and stay there) for a full night’s duration. Start with an over the counter version and if that’s not effective, ask your doctor what prescriptions might be available to help you.
- Sleeping Hypnosis Aids – hypnosis is used to treat all sorts of disorders, including insomnia. You’re not put into a trance where you’re out of control, but you do learn how to relax into a state of peace and rest. There are all sorts of doing it yourself hypnosis for sleep products on the market if you’d prefer not to see a professional.
- Sleeping Herbal Solutions – there are many herbs that are known to promote rest and relaxation. It may be as simple as having lavender vapors surrounding you as you try to get into a deep sleep.
Getting a good night’s rest is important for you to achieve today. Don’t put this off until your brain is in a cloudlike fog where you’re not thinking clearly enough to make informed decisions about what treatment is best for you – take it into your hands today and test the various methods mentioned above to see what works best for you.
Sleeping Disorders: The History
When we hear about sleeping disorders we’re commonly hearing about those who sleepwalk and can’t sleep which is known as insomnia, but often we wonder why sleeping disorders are becoming a prominent issue in today’s society. Right now according to the website Wikipedia there are a total of 14 different disorders ranging from eye twitching to restless legs. Some of these problems are treatable and even preventable when monitored by a doctor or specialized health professional. Sleeping disorders can be extremely dangerous when they go undiagnosed. Many people who are suffering from this disorder are facing a lot of life-threatening problems because having a sleeping disorder can disrupt you from living your normal everyday life.
This can overtake someone if they’re spending more time worrying about their condition than getting the correct amount of sleep. The problem with many people who are dealing with a sleeping disorder is that they’re not aware of it being a problem until they see it’s affecting their job and everyday life. Those who suffer from this can also develop clinical depression because they feel like they’re not able to do any of the things they’re used to doing if they’ve been diagnosed with a sleep disorder.
Individuals are given a test called the Polysomnogram which is used to determine and diagnose sleep disorders so specialists and doctors can plan a treatment designed for that individual person since not all treatments are the same. According to Wikipedia, they list the common treatment options for sleeping disorders are: behavioral/psychotherapeutic, medications (Rozerem, Ambien, Ambien CR, and Lunesta are commonly prescribed sleeping pills given for those diagnosed with a sleeping disorder), and other somatic treatments that are given. Sometimes people who have disorders such as narcolepsy usually have their brain activity measured to see where they are reaching peak points of sleeping so they can be treated since narcoleptics can’t really work on jobs that require them to operate machinery or other things because they have to be alert and awake to know what they’re doing.
Many people who are currently diagnosed with a sleeping disorder are usually treated medicinally for whatever time period the doctor prescribes and monitors the person’s condition. Having a sleeping disorder can make people feel like they’re not normal and that they’re sick when it’s not a sickness and that you can treat the problem through medicine and proper therapy to retrain your body to sleep on a normal scale.
The average person sleeps anywhere between 6-8 hours, but most anyone sleeps is 10 hours. It’s noted that people who sleep more than the regular number of hours tend to throw their bodies off due to the fact that naturally, we sleep and awake when the day changes. It’s ideal to get the right amount of rest because of the fact that your immune system can stress out when you don’t get any kind of rest which can also trigger other medical and health issues from the lack of rest.
This can be a problem with mostly younger people because you find that lifestyles in this day and age trigger the use of drugs, drinking, smoking, and a poor diet consisting of a lot of unhealthy food choices and a lack of exercise and maintaining physical health.
Illnesses That Can Cause a Sleep Disorder
Many times a sleep disorder can be caused by an illness or from the medications used to treat an illness. Some of the common health conditions that can cause a sleeping problem are cardiovascular disease, endocrine disorders, neurological disorders, respiratory disease, mental illness, gastroesophageal reflux disease, kidney disease, and arthritis.
Cardiovascular disease includes congestive heart failure and coronary artery disease. These are the two most common heart problems that affect sleep and can cause a sleep disorder. Congestive heart failure occurs when the heart can no longer pump enough blood fo the body’s needs. Blood backs up in the veins of the heart which leads to the kidneys and edema eventually damages the lungs and other organs. People suffering from congestive heart failure have a very high risk of developing the sleep disorder of obstructive sleep apnea. Coronary heart disease is the build-up of fatty deposits in the arteries that supply blood to the heart, called atherosclerosis. This condition also can lead to obstructive sleep apnea.
Sleep disorders can occur from endocrine disorders such as diabetes and thyroid disease. Diabetes is a disease that affects the way the body processes and uses carbohydrates, fats and proteins. People that have uncontrolled diabetes often develop a sleep disorder of restless leg syndrome. Thyroid hormones regulate the body’s energy levels. Hyperthyroidism can make it difficult to fall asleep, and cause night sweats the person to wake.
Neurological disorders include Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, epilepsy, and strokes. Parkinson’s disease is a central nervous system disorder. This disease causes problems with body motion, including tremors, unstable posture, slowed body movements, muscle stiffness, and difficulty walking. Sleep disorders that occur with this disease include REM sleep behavior disorder and sleep-onset insomnia. Alzheimer’s disease impairs the brain’s intellectual functions and is the most common cause of dementia. This disease causes sleep fragmentation. Epilepsy causes recurrent, sudden, brief changes in the normal electrical activity of the brain. People with this condition are twice as likely to suffer from sleep disorder insomnia. People that suffer a stroke usually also have obstructive sleep apnea.
People that have respiratory diseases, such as asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease,
usually also have a sleep disorder. Asthma is a chronic lung condition that makes breathing difficult when air passages become inflamed and narrow. Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, known as COPD, refers to a group of disorders that damage the lungs and make breathing difficult. Many people with these conditions suffer from insomnia and sleep fragmentation.
Mental health problems, such as depression, anxiety, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and seasonal affective disorder can also lead to a sleep disorder. People with these mental health disorders often suffer from sleep fragmentation and insomnia.
Gastroesophageal reflux disease, known as GERD, causes the stomach’s juices to flow backward into the esophagus. This causes the sleep disorder of sleep fragmentation.
Kidney disease causes the kidneys to lose their ability to filter the proper amount of waste products from the blood and regulate the body’s balance of salt and water. This can cause sleep disorders of restless leg syndrome and insomnia to develop.
People with arthritis often find it difficult to fall asleep because of the pain. This often results in insomnia.
If an illness causes a sleep disorder to develop, the sleep disorder is secondary to the illness. Successful treatment of the primary underlying cause will usually diminish the effects of the sleep disorder.