There are many causes of sleep deprivation; anxiety, depression and stress lead the list. Although an occasional sleepless night will likely not have lasting negative effects, chronic sleep deprivation will often lead to health problems. Insomnia is a symptom of difficulty initiating and maintaining sleep or experiencing non refreshing sleep. If you have trouble maintaining healthy sleeping habits, consider what effects sleep deprivation can have on your health.
Increased Stress Level
Tendency to Gain Weight
Increased Risk For High Blood Pressure
Weakened Immune System
Irritability and Mood Swings
Sleep Deprivation and Brain Function
Going to bed while stressed will tend to make falling asleep more difficult. Conversely, poor sleeping habits will increase the amount of stress hormones in the body. This is because when the body cannot attain a sufficiently deep sleep, it will have to miss out on the valuable restorative emotional and physical benefits. Equally vital is rapid eye movement sleep (REM), which is associated with processing emotions and relieving stress.
If you have been getting less than the recommended seven to eight hours of sleep every night, you may notice your waistline expanding. This is because the body needs sleep to process liptin, the protein responsible for regulating metabolism and appetite. In addition, the increased stress hormone (Cortisol) also works hard to store fat at the same time. Lack of sleep can slow your metabolism, increase your appetite, and lead to weight gain.
As mentioned earlier, missing sleep will raise your stress hormone levels. This increase in stress hormones also puts you at a higher risk of developing high blood pressure problems. In fact, studies have shown that insomnia can affect your blood pressure within 24 hours. Heart disease is a serious concern if poor sleeping habits are maintained for an extended period of time.
If you are not getting enough sleep at night, you may be more susceptible to contracting illnesses such as the cold or flu. Sleep deprivation weakens the immune system, making it tougher for your body to fight off viruses and bacteria.
When you are not sufficiently rested, it is much easier to become irritated. You are more likely to have mood swings and snap at other people including family, friends, and co-workers. When you are constantly tired, you lose interest and pay little attention to other people, even to those close to you.
Sleep deprivation can impair many functions of the brain, including how you think, process information, and make decisions. During the REM (Rapid Eye Movement) cycle of sleep, the brain consolidates and organizes your memories. If you aren’t getting enough REM sleep, this can affect your ability to remember. Studies show that those who don’t get enough sleep have a hard time performing tasks that are no problem when they are getting enough sleep.
Sometimes it’s difficult to get a good night’s sleep. You may feel worried or anxious over a personal matter. But if these sleepless nights occur frequently, you should consult with your health care provider, consider asking for professional help, or make changes in your life to support good sleep habits.
Hypnosis is an effective way to help overcome insomnia. Hypnotherapy, along with lifestyle and habit changes, can help re-set your body’s natural sleep mechanism so you will find it easier to get deep, restful sleep.