Sleep and Your Health

Poor sleep causes poor memory, difficulty concentrating, irritability, reduced immunity, and a general decline in body function. Long term, poor sleep increases the risk of hypertension, obesity, diabetes and cancer.

When people have trouble falling asleep or staying asleep at bedtime, they are said to have insomnia.

Causes of Insomnia

Most people with insomnia have underlying depression and/or anxiety which makes them have trouble sleeping. This is usually the case for people whose insomnia has been present for longer than six months.

For other people, insomnia may be due to pain, unconducive environment like excessive noise, hot or cold; other health conditions like Obstructive Sleep Apnea, asthma and other chronic illnesses.

Here is a breakdown of how poor sleep affects us;

Sleep and your brain

Your central nervous system is the main information highway of your body. Sleep is necessary to keep it functioning properly, but chronic insomnia can disrupt how your body usually sends and processes information. Poor sleep can make it difficult for you to learn new things, remember what you learn, impair your mental states and make you experience mood swings. It also affects your decision-making ability and increases your risk of accidents.

Sleep and your immune system

While you sleep, your immune system produces protective, infection-fighting substances. It uses these substances to combat foreign invaders such as bacteria and viruses. Sleep deprivation prevents your immune system from building up its forces. If you don’t get enough sleep, your body may not be able to fend off invaders, and it may also take you longer to recover from illnesses.

Sleep and your respiratory system

The relationship between sleep and the respiratory system goes both ways. A nighttime breathing disorder called obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) can interrupt your sleep and lower sleep quality.

As you wake up throughout the night, this can cause sleep deprivation, which leaves you more vulnerable to respiratory infections like the common cold and flu. Sleep deprivation can also make existing respiratory diseases worse, such as chronic lung illness.

Sleep and digestion

Along with eating too much and not exercising, sleep deprivation is another risk factor for becoming overweight and obese. Sleep affects the levels of two hormones, leptin and ghrelin, which control feelings of hunger and fullness.

Sleep and your heart

Sleep affects processes that keep your heart and blood vessels healthy, including those that affect your blood sugar, blood pressure, and inflammation levels. It also plays a vital role in your body’s ability to heal and repair the blood vessels and heart.

Treatment of sleep deprivation

To get proper treatment for poor sleep, you should talk to your doctor or a sleep specialist who, if needed, may ask you to do a sleep test. You will also be counseled about sleep hygiene and other ways to help improve your sleep.

You can contact us at FaithCiy Hospital to schedule a consultation to talk about any difficulty you may have with sleep.

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