Sleep is a critical part of living a healthy life. Chronic sleep disorders and lack of sleep cause a variety of health problems not to mention interpersonal struggles. When it’s a challenge to stay awake at work, you may find yourself becoming moody and ill-tempered. Sleep difficulties can cause you to feel continually tired even when you may have gone to bed with the intention of getting eight hours of sleep. Many times sleep issues are related to sleep apnea. Waking all throughout the night to catch a breath of air impacts your body and prevents you from ever enjoying the deep restful sleep you need. Here’s what you need to know:
1. Sleep drowsiness can increase your risk on the road. While driving down the interstate tired may not seem like a big problem, it can cause a decrease in reaction time similar to that of a drunk driver.
2. Sleep deprivation can decrease your overall problem solving and thinking abilities. Having a restful night’s sleep allows you to be alert and on your toes when faced with challenges at home and at work. “While being tired,” says Dr. Judith Strutz, “causes thinking and reasoning to be a difficult task.”
3. Heart disease, heart attack, and high blood pressure are a potential problem for individuals who suffer from chronic sleep deprivation.
4. Depression has been linked to individuals who sleep less than six hours a night. A lack of sleep, can increase moodiness and an inability to function well during the day – both of these factors may contribute to depression.
5. Excess cortisol levels cause problems for the skin. Your body when it does not get enough sleep increases the release of cortisol. This stress-inducing hormone can cause loose skin and dark circles beneath your eyes.
If you are one of the many Americans unable to get a good night’s sleep, you do not have to continue to suffer; Dr. Judith Strutz and her team can help.