Sleep is very important for our overall health and in this article we will cover the 7 reasons why sleep disorders are bad for you.
We have all experienced the feelings associated with a poor night’s sleep. Grogginess, poor concentration, lack of motivation and drive are all common symptoms.
While these effects are resolved after a good night’s sleep, for many people poor sleep can be a common occurrence and research confirms that it can have serious effects on our psychological, physical, social and occupational life. Below are a list of dangers associated with poor sleep.
1. Impairs your thinking
Sleep has a critical role in thinking and learning. Sleep disorders affect concentration, attention, reasoning, alertness, and problem solving, making learning far more difficult.
Sleep also plays a role in establishing memories. Lack of sleep therefore affects your ability to remember your experiences of the day as well as what you learned.
Since sleep deprivation impairs thinking it has been a contributing factor in some of the biggest disasters in recent history. For example, in 1979 a nuclear accident at Three Mile Island and the massive Exxon Valdez oil spill in 1986 were attributed to sleepiness in the workers.
Sleep loss and fatigue resulting from sleep disorders are major causes of road accidents. They reduce reaction time and increase the likelihood of falling asleep at the wheel. Everyday injuries and accidents in the workplace are also commonly attributed to sleep deprivation.
2. Contributes to poor physical health
It has been confirmed that sleep disorders and chronic sleep deprivation can increase your risk of the following health problems:
3. Worsens mental health
While poor sleep is often a symptom associated with many mental health problems such as depression, anxiety and bipolar disorder, the reverse is also true. That is, sleep disorders can trigger mental health problems.
In fact, poor sleep often occurs before the onset of depression and treating sleep problems can actually rid people of their depressive illness.
4. Destroys sex drive
Sleep specialists agree that sleep-deprived men and women report lower libidos and less interest in sex. Depleted energy, sleepiness, and increased stress are largely to blame. Sleep disorders can also negatively affect levels of important sex hormones, particularly testosterone in men.
5. Worsens your immune system
People with sleep problems have a lower immunity, and are more likely to catch colds, flus and other viruses. Good-quality sleep seems to boost the immune system by increasing virus-fighting chemicals in the body.
6. Makes you fat
Poor sleep has been associated with increased obesity and weight problems. It also seems to affect appetite-hormones such as leptin and ghrelin, reducing your sense of fullness and increasing hunger.
Sleep problems also adversely affect metabolic rate, meaning less calorie burning during the day, and a gradual build-up of excess kilograms.
7. Reduces fertility
Sleep deprivation has been reported to be a factor associated with fertility and falling pregnant. It seems to affect both men and women by reducing the secretion of important reproductive hormones.
Poor sleep can have devastating effects in the body and as highlighted by these mentioned effects, it can influence both mental and physical wellbeing. Relationships, occupational and educational performances are therefore adversely affected.
Fortunately, there are things that you can be do to improve sleep. The first treatment involves improving your sleep hygiene.
This relates to developing good habits associated with sleep and bedtime, and making sleep a high priority in your life. Psychological therapies such as cognitive-behaviour therapy, and certain medications can also be helpful.
There are also several natural supplements that can promote healthier, restful sleep. Ingredients such as glycine, magnesium and taurine are examples of good sleep aids. If you are suffering from ongoing sleep problems make it a priority in your life and seek appropriate intervention.