Many people experience sleep difficulties which can negatively impact all aspects of their life; health, relationships, career and well-being. If you or your partner suffer from a sleeplessness disorder, be aware of the implications poor sleep can have on your overall health and make sure you are ready to find the solution to your sleeping problem.
It comes to no surprise that the amount of sleep we have reflects on the individuals lifestyle. Sleep can be affected by the quantity of nutritious foods we consume in our diet to how frequently we exercise. A lack of sleep can leave us feeling irritable and tired throughout the day. Daytime sleepiness is one of the most common symptoms that can suggest an individual might be at risk of sleep apnoea.
The explanation behind requiring an adequate amount of sleep is to allow our bodies to have time to restore and rejuvenate; to grow muscle, repair tissue and synthesise hormones. Listed below are some serious implications that a lack of sleep can have on your body, be prepared to feel surprised!
Daytime sleepiness can often be the cause of car crashes
Sleeplessness disorders are one of the most common causes for major vehicle accidents. Feeling drowsy makes you less responsive and can slow down your reaction time just as much as if you were driving drunk.
Published in the journal ‘Sleep’, obstructive sleep apnoea can double the risk of your involvement in a road accident. Fortunately, those suffering from OSA can use CPAP therapy to treat their symptoms and reduce their vehicle crash involvement rate by up to 70%. If you or your partner are having sleep difficulties and wake up during night to choking, gasping for breath or loud chronic snoring, then you might be an undiagnosed sufferer of OSA. Find out more information about diagnosing OSA.
Sleepless nights can play a critical role in your concentration levels
If you had sleeping difficulties last night, then you can expect your thinking and learning to be compromised the following day. A limited amount of quality sleep can impair your attention, alertness, concentration, reasoning and problem solving. Throughout the night, various sleep cycles work to consolidate memories in your mind. Poor sleep quality can affect your ability to remember, which could lower your mental capacity and impact your career.
Untreated sleep disorders can conflict with your overall health
Sleep deprivation can cause havoc to your health in the long term. If you have an underlying sleeplessness disorder that you have not yet been diagnosed for, then you might be putting yourself at risk for heart disease, high blood pressure, stroke and diabetes. It is advisable that you discuss your symptoms with your GP so that they can diagnose your condition.
A lack of sleep can impact your sex life with your partner
Limited quality sleep can quickly kill your sex drive. Sleep specialists state that sleep deprived men and women report lower libidos and less interest in sex. If you want to bring back the romance and passion in your life, make sure that you diagnose your sleep disorder or opt for an earlier night to get the required amount of hours of sleep in at night.
Insomniacs and undiagnosed OSA sufferers might be more at risk of feeling depressed
Minimal sleep can contribute to the symptoms of depression. In a 2007 study of 10,000 people, those suffering with insomnia were five times as likely to develop depression than those without. Insomnia and depression are part of a viscous cycle as they feed off each other. Around 70% of OSA sufferers will also experience depression.
Sleep loss aggravates the symptoms of depression while feeling depressed can prevent the patient from sleeping. Read the full article here on how sleep apnoea might boost your symptoms of depression.
Sleepless nights can age your skin
Poor sleep quality can age your skin and leave you with puffy eyes. Chronic sleep loss can lead to lacklustre skin, fine lines and dark circles under your eyes.
When you do not get an adequate amount of sleep, your body releases more of the stress hormone cortisol. Excess amounts of cortisol can break down skin collagen; the protein that keeps skin smooth and elastic.
Sleep loss causes your body to release a limited amount of the human growth hormone. When you’re young, the hormone promotes growth. As you get older, it helps increase muscle mass, thicken skin and strengthen your bones. Perhaps that is wear the term “beauty sleep” comes from!
Deprived of sleep? That might explain why you are forgetting things
If you have read the blog but have forgotten several of the points made so far, then you might
be too tired to concentrate and learn. In 2009, American and French researchers determined that brain events (sharp wave ripples) are responsible for consolidating memory. Sharp wave ripples occur mostly during the deepest level of sleep, so if you’re sleep deprived and suffering from
undiagnosed OSA, then you will not be reaching the deepest levels of sleep to be able to consolidate memory.
Your appetite might increase if you have trouble sleeping
Snacking throughout the day can be a symbol of feeling tired and out of energy. If you have trouble sleeping, then your appetite will increase throughout the day to try to restore your energy levels. According to a 2004 study, people who have less than 6 hours sleep were almost 30% more likely to be obese than those who slept 7-9 hours.