Sleep Disorders

It is important we lessen the burden of sleep problems through prevention and management of sleep disorders. Adults should be getting between 7-9 hours of sleep every night. However around one third still get inadequate sleep.

Our bodies have an internal clock that makes us feel sleepy at night and awake during the day known as a ‘circadian rhythm.’ This clock influences sleep and other bodily functions like hormone levels, body temperature, and metabolism: when this clock tells the body to sleep, a hormone known as melatonin takes over.

Getting the right amount of quality sleep is vital to our health. Most of us will have missed an occasional night’s sleep that makes us feel very tired and irritable the next day, but it generally doesn’t harm our health. But after several sleepless nights, the mental and physical effects may become more serious.

Brain fog will make it difficult for us to concentrate and make decisions. We may start to feel tired and may fall asleep during the day. Our risk of injury and accidents at home, work and while driving will significantly increase.

If sleep deprivation continues, lack of sleep can affect our overall health and make us prone to serious medical conditions, such as obesity, heart disease, high blood pressure and diabetes. It is important we get more sleep.

The effects of prolonged sleep deprivation cannot be reversed with a single early night. If we’ve had months of restricted sleep, we’ll have built up a significant sleep debt, and recovery will take several weeks.

Starting on a weekend, try to add on an extra hour or 2 of sleep a night. The way to do this is to go to bed when you’re tired, and allow your body to wake you in the morning. We can expect to sleep for upwards of 10 hours a night at first.

After a while, the amount of time we sleep will gradually decrease to a normal level. Sleep is as important as exercise and diet to our overall health. ‘World Sleep day’ is a reminder to us of the importance of sleep problems and its associated wide-ranging health and social issues.

3 Apr, 2019

4 thoughts on “Sleep Disorders

  1. Yes, I happen to have one of those, called ‘sleep apnea.’ I have to use a machine to make sure that I keep breathing regularly throughout the night.

    I spent far too long, wondering why I felt so tired most of the time, until I had the test, which proved that I needed the machine.

    It has been pointed out that I do tend to sleep a lot better at night and don’t twitch as much as I used to. It’s been very nice to get a decent night’s sleep for a change, compared with how I used to sleep.

    1. Thanks Randy. I am sorry to hear that. Yes, for anyone with sleep apnea it can be a worrying time.

      I am pleased you got it sorted and that you can now sleep without that worry and that you are getting a better night’s sleep than you had.

  2. Sleep is something I’ve struggled with for over 20 years. I remember being light-headed during the day and for a long time I actually tried to live like that.

    My mind just simply wouldn’t shut down at night. But sleeping is a little bit easier now, but only when I relax fully.

    1. Thanks Tim. Well I’m not in the medical profession, but from a universal stand point, I believe a lack of sleep is stress related.

      You sort out your stress and you will sleep much better. We can live with continual stress around us, particularly with family and not always equate that as being stress, primarily because we’re on it and dealing with it.

      But the mind has a way of inviting those conversations back in. An unkind word, can be a difference between a good night’s sleep and us waking through the night.

      I have always been a light sleeper. I also have impaired emotions that are linked to my brain damage that I believe is associated with my sleep difficulties.

      I know that when I am less challenged during the day and everything is right with my world, I sleep much better. Stress is very much a factor of our sleep difficulties.

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