Sleep is essential to a healthy lifestyle, just as eating, exercising and breathing are. Sleep quality matters in the same way as the number of hours. Sleeplessness causes impairment, and it also triggers sleeping disorders (insomnia, sleep apnea, narcolepsy, sleep paralysis, etc) which will in turn, trigger certain medical conditions.
It is necessary to get adequate sleep to maintain optimal health but this fact is often ignored by adults. Work and play are often prioritized over sleep, which will, in the long run, take its toll on their health.
Having regular sleeping disorders is a cause for concern and should already justify a doctor’s visit. The sooner you get diagnosed and treated the sooner you get better quality of sleep. They are not to be left unaddressed.
Today, I’m going to bring to your notice, the health risks that are associated with sleeping disorders. I’m going to focus on the four major sleeping disorders which are insomnia, sleep apnea, narcolepsy and sleep paralysis.
4 Sleeping Disorders and Their Risk Factors
- Insomnia Is a Risk Factor for Mental Health Disorders
Insomnia is a condition in which you have difficulty falling asleep and sleeping, and you can not go back to sleep. Insomnia can last through days, weeks, or even months. Sleepless nights affects you in the daytime by affecting your health and general body functions.
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Stress, constant traveling, generally poor sleeping habits, and insomnia causes health problems. It can lead to mental health disorders such as anxiety and depression, because of the lack of sleep.
Avoiding insomnia means creating a good environment for sleep and holding on to a healthy lifestyle. You must remain active and keep clear of vices such as smoking and drinking. It also helps to include certain routines before bedtime, including taking a shower before bedtime or reading a book.
- Sleep Apnea Increases the Risk of Hypertension
You may have sleep apnea when you snore loudly, gasp for air and stop breathing intermittently while asleep. Sleep apnea occurs when the muscles of the throat relax and the brain does not receive proper signals about your breathing.
Getting obstructive sleep apnea increases the risk of irregular heartbeats, strokes and heart attacks. Having low levels of blood oxygen that happens during sleep apnea, increases blood pressure. Multiple episodes of abrupt drops in the oxygen level can lead to sudden death.
Specialists advise the use of continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machines for people struggling with this sleep apnea. CPAP machines help to keep the airways open while sleeping. These machines provide pressure air which allows individuals to breathe comfortably.
- Narcolepsy Intensifies the Risk of Physical Harm
Daytime drowsiness crippling is generally described as narcolepsy. People suffering from narcolepsy experience unexpected sleep assaults and find it hard to stay awake irrespective of what. Because they suddenly fall asleep at random times, there is the constant interruption of the daily routine.
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If it runs in the family, the risk for narcolepsy is higher, and there is no cure. Narcoleptics can be harmed physically if they fall asleep while driving, walking, or making food. Common activities automatically become dangerous by the slipping of consciousness.
There is a broad misunderstanding of the extent of narcolepsy. People see narcoleptic individuals as lazy, unprofessional, and rude, even without knowing the nature of the disorder. Medicines and certain changes in lifestyle help to manage the disorder, but it’s not really going away for good.
- Sleep Paralysis Can Cause Anxiety
Sleep paralysis occurs when an individual wakes up but unable to move or speak. It’s a terrifying experience because a person is between dormant and awake. They are conscious of everything and fully aware of it all, but they can not move physically.
Sleep paralysis is not life-threatening, but for those who have encountered it more than once, it can cause anxiety. They may willingly refrain from falling asleep because they fear that something will happen to them. Anxiety can also contribute to the sleep deprivation itself, but the cause is more related to general tension.
7 Surprising Effects Of Sleeping Disorders
You know sleeplessness can make you grumpy and foggy. You may not know what it can do to your sex life, memory, health, appearance and even weight-loss ability.
- Leads to serious health problems: Sleeping disorders and chronic lack of sleep can put you at risk of many health conditions such as heart disease, heart attack, heart failure, irregular heartbeat, high blood pressure, stroke, diabetes, obesity, and so on
- Makes you dumb: Sleep plays a critical role in thinking and learning. Sleeping disorders hurts these cognitive processes in many ways. First, it impairs attention, alertness, concentration, reasoning, and problem-solving. This makes it more difficult to learn efficiently.
- Kills sex drive: Sleep experts say men and women who are sleep-deprived report lower libidos and less interest in sex. Depleted energy, sleepiness, and heightened tension may be largely responsible.
- Causes accidents: Sleeping disorders often poses a major public safety threat on the road every day. Drowsiness can both slow down reaction time and drive drunk. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that tiredness is a factor in 100,000 car accidents and 1,550 accident-related deaths a year in the US.
- Makes you age faster: After just a few nights of missed sleep, most people experienced sallow skin and puffy eyes. But it turns out that sleeping disorders can result in lackluster skin, fine lines and dark circles appearing under the eyes. When you don’t get enough sleep, more of the stress hormone, cortisol, is released from your body. Cortisol can break down skin collagen, the protein which keeps the skin smooth and elastic in excess amounts.
- Makes you gain weight: Sleeping disorders seem to be linked to an increase in hunger and appetite, and possibly to obesity. According to a study carried out in 2004, people who sleep less than six hours a day were almost 30 percent more likely to become obese than those who slept between seven and nine hours.
- Increases the risk of death: The results published in 2007 showed that those who had cut their sleep from seven to five hours or less a night almost doubled their risk of death. Lack of sleep particularly doubled the risk of death from cardiovascular disease.
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Even if you are not diagnosed with any sleeping disorder, good sleep is still very important. Stick to a normal bedtime at night, and quit utilizing electronic devices as much as possible.
Do not take caffeine or alcohol near bedtime to enjoy better sleep quality.