Sleeping is part of life where it provides the proper functioning of the body and brain. The body anatomy’s design is to get rest by sleeping, and thus, a sleep disorder can harm your body and brain due to several factors.
Why sleep disorder may harm the body and mind
Sleep is the ultimate body fuel that causes the healing process, repairing the heart and blood vessels, and restoration of the chemical reaction. Having a bad day and bad mood are some minor causes of sleep disorder. However, accumulated periods of not sleeping may affect your overall health. For this reason, a sleep disorder pattern can potentially harm the body as it is prone to increase various diseases that include:
- High blood pressure
- Kidney disease
- Heart disease
The current state of thinking on sleep disorder effects on the body and brain
According to a study, there is a link between mental health and sleep disorder. Therefore, people who suffer from mental health have a higher possibility of suffering from a sleep disorder. Such sleep problems include clinical cases such as Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), bipolar disorder, and depression. Statistics from Harvard Health Publishing further explain that 50% to 80% of Americans with psychiatric conditions suffer from sleep-related disorders. Therefore, there is a direct correlation between sleep and mental health.
In fact, in traditional times, some of the main signs for mental illnesses, according to physicians are sleep disorders such as insomnia. Though this is true, the paradox that lies behind this ideology is that sleep disorders can also cause psychiatric disorders. On the same note, while sleep depravity can trigger stress or depression, the vice versa can be a causative factor to sleeping disorders.
According to Rebecca Bernert, Ph.D., over three weeks of disturbed sleep may lead to undesirable effects such as nightmares, insomnia, and even erratic sleep patterns leading to suicidal thoughts. 2015 statistics of the suicidal cases in America reveals that suicide was among the 10thleading causes of death claiming over 44,000 lives. This only shows a fraction of the adverse effects that sleep disorders can cause to humanity.
What you should know about sleep disorders
Most individuals suffer from sleep loss at some point in life, as it is a common problem affecting society. Sleep disorders arise as a result of extended periods of sleep loss where an individual sleeps fewer hours than the average sleeping hours. Failure to have enough sleep and rest also affects the day to day activities and can lower one’s productivity at work besides having daytime sleepiness, and obesity at its worse.
Moreover, some of the facts that one should check out to weigh whether one is suffering from sleep depravity are as follows:
- Sleep loss tends to obstruct the normal functioning of the brain leading to loss of focus.
- Loss of focus, on the other hand, can cause other problems as well, where it has previously played a role in accidents on the road, water, and even air.
- Loss of sleep can also point out a more undiagnosed severe health condition.
- Sleep disorder affects both children and adults as failure to sleep on each occasion leads to sleep debt.
The effects of sleep disorder to the body and brain
The effects of sleep disorder can either be long-term or short-term, depending on the period that one has had sleep loss. While the problem may not cause an alarm at first, long term effects are more severe and require medical attention. With that said, it is essential to note that one should at least sleep for 7 to 9 hours every day. The following are some of the long term effects brought about by sleep disorders to the body and brain of individuals.
- Effect on the Central Nervous System
Chronic insomnia can lead to disruption of the proper functioning of the nerve cells that transport information to the brain. It is because lack of sleep will make your brain exhausted, thus causing forgetfulness, and decreased coordination.
- Effect on the respiratory system
Lack of sleep can lead to respiratory problems due to Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA), a breathing disorder as a result of poor quality sleep. Other common effects that can occur in the respiratory system are flu, and the common cold, with chronic lung illnesses worsening in the event one gets chronic insomnia.
- Immune system
The immunity system provides cytokines, protective substances that fight germs and diseases brought about by viruses and bacteria. Besides this, cytokines help one to sleep while they perform their role of fighting foreign bodies. For this reason, lack of sleep can make you prone to diseases and compromise with your immune system as the body will be unable to fight off illnesses.
- Effect on the digestive system
Sleep deprivation might lead to obesity and even Type 2 Diabetes. This is because sleeping once you fall asleep, the brain controls the ghrelin and leptin hormones. Ghrelin is an appetite stimulant while leptin controls fullness. Lack of sleep promotes more ghrelin to be in circulation where you may eat more, and this can lead to obesity. On the other hand, sleep deficiency leads to the production of more insulin, which promotes high blood sugar and a high risk of suffering type 2 diabetes.
The major sign of ongoing sleep loss is extreme daytime sleepiness. Other indicators are:
- Low libido
- Low motivation
What can you do for your treatment solutions for sleep disorders?
The easiest way to treat sleep disorders is to have enough sleep. Depending on the situation, if it is still challenging to sleep, one may need to seek medical services from a doctor. The doctor’s diagnosis may be in the form of sleep studies where some of the most common sleep disorders are:
- Sleep apnea
- Movement disorders
- Restless leg syndrome
Equally important, the most common treatment options for sleep disorders are medication, such as sleeping pills. There are several sleeping pills but the most common and effective one is Zopiclone. This group of drugs assists its users to overcome disorders due to disrupted sleep. Also, with cases such as sleep apnea, the doctor may show the patient how to devise ways of keeping the airways clear. Other prevention measures from sleep disorders are:
- Avoiding caffeine intake
- Coordinated sleep patterns daily
- Avoiding heavy meals
- Avoiding daytime naps
- Meditating before bedtime
Have you been struggling to sleep for days? Perhaps it could be a sign that you have a sleep disorder and you may want to seek help. With the given principles above, sleep disorder is real and has affected society in a dozen ways. However, the solution is at your disposal; seek help today if you suspect you may be suffering from a sleep disorder.