The feeling of grogginess after a night where you went to bed late or in which you tossed and turned can make it difficult to get through the next day. But when a sleeping disorder continuously impacts your ability to get enough quality sleep, the results can be more extreme than a few days of discomfort.
Lack of sleep, whether it occurs continuously over a period of time or reoccurs from time to time, has a range of mental and physical repercussions. These can have a severe impact on your routine and potentially be dangerous for your health.
What to Expect When You Do Not Get Enough Sleep
The amount of sleep that a person needs depends on their age, lifestyle, and other health conditions. Teenagers between 13 and 17 generally require 8 to 10 hours of sleep. Adults need 7 to 9 with the number decreasing as a person ages.
But this number is not just for time spent asleep. Sleep also needs to be of high quality, giving you a chance to go through the various sleep cycles, including REM sleep and deep sleep, in order for your body to truly be rested.
A number of factors can impact your ability to achieve the necessary amount of quality sleep, such as lifestyle and sleep disorders like insomnia, sleep apnea, daytime sleepiness, and restless leg syndrome. When any of these factors keep you from getting enough sleep, you will begin to experience:
- Decreased Alertness – Missing as little as 2 hours of sleep can make you less alert the next day. If this happens on an ongoing basis, you will start to feel continuously disconnected, causing significant problems with your productivity and performance at school or work.
- Moodiness – With less sleep, it becomes more difficult to regulate your emotions. Sleeplessness makes you more susceptible to sadness or irritability, which often impacts your relationships.
- Memory Problems – Missing sleep will often make it more difficult to remember facts and events for the past, as well as convert short term memories into long term memories.
- Lack of Interest – When you are fatigued, you likely will not have the energy to participate in activities you find enjoyable. This could lower your quality of life and increase your chances of feeling burnt out.
- Increased Risk of Illness – Without proper rest your body is less able to fight off viruses or repair tissues after an injury. Long periods without enough sleep also contribute to physical health challenges such as heart attack, stroke, high blood pressure, and diabetes.
- Increased Risk of Accidents – Sleepiness during the daytime puts you at more risk for car accidents or dangerous mistakes when operating heavy machinery.
The immediate discomfort and the long term health effects of a sleep disorder are challenges that can impact multiple areas of your life and threaten your well being. Fortunately, many sleep disorders are treatable and there are a number of options, whether through medication assisted treatment, psychotherapy, or alterations to your routine, that can help you be sure that you are getting the sleep you need to feel your best.
If a sleep disorder is responsible for your lack of sleep or you are unsure of the cause of ongoing fatigue, Aware Behavioral Health provides sleep disorder treatment in Dallas. Contact us today to learn more.