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The Importance of Sleep, Part Two

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Sleep reduces stress, and when you go for long periods without healthy sleep your body will respond by entering a state of stress. Here the body’s functions will be put on ‘alert’ much as they are during the fight-or-flight response and you’ll find a further rise in blood pressure and in your heart rate. This again puts your body at greater risk of heart attack or stroke, but additionally will make it even more difficult to get to sleep due to the presence of adrenaline in your system (part of the stress response). This can lead to a vicious cycle, making difficult breathing only one of the problems preventing you from dozing back off. The stress hormone also raises inflammation in the body which again puts you at risk of heart conditions as well as cancer and even diabetes. Inflammation has also been suggested to play a role in the aging process, which combined with your lack of growth hormone will really add up to rapid aging.

We’re all also aware that sleep helps with alertness and concentration. If you find yourself lacking sleep you will probably find it hard to focus on a task or perform to the best of your ability. While this can be damaging for your career, academic life etc etc, it can also be dangerous – leading you to make silly mistakes that you wouldn’t normally. This is true particularly if you are in charge of machinery or a vehicle…which is why it’s recommended to take breaks and drink tea when driving. What might seem like a frustrating lack of sleep may, in fact, prove to be fatal on the road.

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Sleep also improves our memory through a process called ‘memory consolidation’. During this time the brain strengthens the neural connections made during the day making them more easily accessible in future. This is why when you’re studying for an exam or presentation it’s important to get a good night’s sleep the night before – which will be tricky if you suffer from sleep apnea. Sleeping may even make you smarter through this process and in the long run may raise your IQ.

We all also know that sleep improves your mood. Ever heard of “getting out of the wrong side of bed”? Well that’s every morning if you suffer from conditions that prevent you from sleeping. This can lead to a short temper which can create stress in relationships, but even worse can lead to depression by impacting the balance of hormones in the brain such as the feel-good hormone serotonin. Lack of sleep can also lead to you gain weight due to chemical imbalances – in particular through the disruption of the hormones ghrelin and leptin which are crucial for the regulation of appetite.

In short then, difficulty sleeping will result in a wide variety of health issues including potential heart problems, mood disorders, slow healing, rapid aging, weight gain, cancer and diabetes. While not all of these will affect everyone it shouldn’t be a risk you take lightly – if you’re suffering from sleep apnea and getting less than eight hours sleep a night then seek professional intervention.

Alternate spelling: sleep apnoea | Common misspellings: sleep apnia, sleep apena, sleep apneia
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{ 11 comments }

Beds

If you are feeling like you are not getting enough good quality sleep then you should contact your local sleep clinic and book an appointment to have a test.

Your lack of sleep could be down to an illness such as sleep apnea.

kelly from click here

Sleep is your body’s only time for repairing all those damaged and broken cells. Only when we are asleep, can our body do many of its essential functions. That is why when we wake up from a full night of sleep we are so refreshed.
Thanks for the great article!

monika from Smooth Fitness coupon code

Most adults need eight hours of sleep each night. You may need a bit more or less. There are many out there who sleep as little as possible.Their busy lifestyles dictating their sleep time. Others have no trouble getting plenty of sleep(example teenagers).sleeping plays an important role in your daily life.

john from business executive coaching

By working whole day the brain becomes too much tired as well as your muscles. So, it is very necessary to get adequate sleep in order to refresh your mind and to remove the lactic acid stored in your muscle cells.

Marty

Very true post, sleep is highly important to achieve the simple every day tasks. When i was suffering from lack of sleep i would get this rush of energy for about 5 hours and then afterwards it would turn into a heaviness and sluggishness. Not something that i would like happen again :)

Robert from Sleep Apnea Cures

Great to see someone else extolling the virtues of getting enough sleep!

Ruth from Sleep Apnea Mouthpiece

Fantastic post on the sleep issue. I am a shift worker who works 12 hour day and 12 hour night shifts in an emergency control centre.

I really know the problems lack of sleep, or unusual sleep patterns can have on the body, and it is really debillitating. I can’t waint to get out of the shift game and sleep properly

shaay from sleep apnea treatment

I spent years feeling as if I never slept at all. It was like I tossed and turned all night. I remember often I would look at the clock go back to sleep and then wake and look at the clock and only a few minutes had passed. I finally went for a sleep study and it showed I was waking because of sleep apnea 345 times during a 5 hour period. Phewww!!! no wonder I felt like I was never asleep. But now I sleep like a baby. My partner has counted my breaths and my record is asleep within 10 breaths. And no!! that is not after sex hahaha. I now sleep right through till morning unless I have to get up to go to the bathroom. It is awesome and the best part is after so many years with next to no good sleep I can now survive on just 4 hours of good sleep that I now get. If you have bad sleep paterns or sleep apnea do whatever you can to get it fixed, it is well worth it.

John from Sleep Apnea Mouthpiece

A great post on the benefits of sleep. As someone who worked shift work for many years, the benefits of sleep are all to clear to me. It’s amazing (though not surprising) how debillitating lack of sleep , or sleep at the wrong time of the day can be.

I thoroughly recommend making sleep an important consideration in your day, and not just something you have to do. Since stopping shift work I feel like I’ve become younger and more invigorated. It’s a great feeling

harry downs

Very nice overview. Decisions are easier in the right frame of mind as well. There are cognitive training approaches available that will balance your dopamine and really make you happier. This leads to better sleep, less stress and more competence.

Bruha from Sleep Apnea

If you nap throughout the day, it is no wonder that you will not be able to sleep at night. The late afternoon for most people is a “sleepy time.” Many people will take a nap at that time. This is generally not a bad thing to do, provided you limit the nap to 30-45 minutes and can sleep well at night.

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