A lot of may realize that we’re not getting enough sleep, and we may also realize that it’s taking a toll our bodies, but very few people truly realize how much lack of sleep is a major health hazard.
In case you may be wondering if you are suffering from thith problem we’ll be addressing the main symptoms to watch out for as well as some treatment options which you might opt for.
Some of the Primary Symptoms of Lack of Sleep
The symptoms of lack of sleep are extremely varied in nature and will affect different people in different ways. Also, many of the symptoms are associated with other conditions, so it’s sometimes difficult to diagnosis sleep disorders or chronic lack of sleep.
However, here are some of the primary symptoms: elevated blood pressure, aching muscles, confused thinking, fibromyalgia, ADHD, depression and other serious psychosis.
As we can see these symptoms can overlap with other conditions, and that’s why a sleep study is often needed to diagnose lack of sleep from a chronic sleep disorder such as sleep apnea and others.
How Lack of Sleep Affect Our Lives
In addition to the symptoms we’re already mentioned, the ones that we can measure, there are also affects that we can’t see or measure. And these are every bit as important. Suffering from constant lack of sleep causes an elevation in blood pressure and stress hormones which leaves us at an increased risk of diabetes and heart disease.
Missing a few hours of sleep here and there will not have these effects, but chronic sleep conditions in which sleep is disturbed or interrupted will seriously interfere with our body’s health and harmony.
As was already mentioned, chronic lack of sleep has a weakening effect on our minds and bodies. How does this work exactly? Well, lack of sleep builds up stress on the body, suppresses growth hormone release, and taxes our glandular system, in particular our adrenal glands, which are essential for energy.
Our immunity is also lowered, and even our digestion can be impaired. There is truly no facet of our body which lack of sleep does not effect negatively.
Long term sleep deprivation which creates hormone imbalances can even slowly increase our body weight, and this additional weight makes our circulatory system have to work harder as well as making us feel sluggish and fatigued.
Mood disorders almost always go hand in hand with sleep problems, and scientific studies even show that our ability to heal is impaired. It can be like we are in a state of perpetual inflammation, and this stressful and painful state over time will often lead to severe health problems.
Common Treatments for Lack of Sleep
One of the ways to improve our sleep cycle is simply to watch what we’re putting into our bodies, cutting back on or eliminating stimulants or depressants can very successfully improve sleep patterns, and it can do so very quickly.
Common stimulants would be tobacco, coffee, and tea; depressants would include alcohol. These common and socially acceptable substances can very negatively affect our sleep.
Participating in a sleep study to determine if you may have a sleep disorder like sleep apnea or restless legs can be a good idea. Once a disorder is diagnosed it can be treated properly and lack of sleep will become a thing of the past.
Getting good exercise, learning relaxation techniques, and eating a healthy diet can go a long way towards improving our sleep as well, but some people may need some additional help.
If you notice chronic negative sleep patterns that don’t improve with lifestyle changes then trying prescription medications can be another option. Long term lack of sleep and deprivation is nothing to mess around with, the sooner we deal with any issue the better.