We all know that even a single sleepless night can wreak havoc on both our mood and performance throughout the day. Not getting enough rest can leave us feeling irritable and unable to complete even the most basic tasks. While we all expect to feel fatigue due to lack of sleep, many people don’t realize that a prolong sleep disorder often means more than just chronic exhaustion. Over time, insomnia can have a significant effect on our holistic health.
If you’re suffering from a sleep disorder, it’s important to understand its potential long-term impact on your mental, emotional, and physiological health. Sleeplessness can effect:
Sleep is vital to several cognitive functions, such as memory consolidation, creativity, and innovative thinking. New research indicates that lack of sleep can temporarily impair communication between neurons, causing significant memory lapses and even distorted visual perception.
Not getting enough sleep can also take a toll on your immune system. As we sleep, our immune system releases cytokines, proteins needed to help protect the body from inflammation, infection, and stress. Insufficient rest may reduce production of cytokines as well as other infection-fighting antibodies.
Several studies have linked sleeplessness with weight gain and obesity. Research suggests that not getting enough rest causes the brain to respond in a way similar to when its trying to replenish body stores during a low body weight phase.
Some studies suggest that insomnia can put the body in a pre-diabetic state. When sleep deprived, your body’s reaction can mimic symptoms of insulin resistance, which can eventually lead to diabetes. When your body senses it’s in a phase of insulin resistance, it can cause surrounding cells to use insulin insufficiently, inadvertently creating a high blood sugar state in your body.
Sleep deprivation can cause cardiovascular disease. Sleeplessness can affect various body processes that sustain health in both the heart and its surrounding blood vessels. Insomnia can trigger hypertension as well as play a direct role in blood sugar and inflammation levels. Some studies even indicate a link between sleeplessness and stroke, coronary heart diseases, and an irregular heartbeat.
A sleep disorder can even impact a woman’s fertility. Getting enough rest helps regulate levels of leptin, a hormone that directly influences ovulation. Lack of sleep can result in insufficient leptin levels and may even disrupt the entire menstrual cycle.
Is lack of sleep hurting your health? We can help. Contact our office today for a no-risk consultation to discuss your sleep disorder and how chiropractic neurology can make a difference.