One of the best feelings in the world is waking up from a quality sleep. Whether it’s a deep sleep through the night or a power nap to rejuvenate you in the middle of the day, nothing resets you quite like a good quality rest. However, with all the hustle and bustle that we experience throughout our day, sleep seems to elude many of us, especially adults. Time and time again, we make ourselves the promise that tonight is the night we go straight to bed after getting home and night after night, something else draws our attention away from getting the sleep our body truly needs. It’s a vicious cycle that most of repeat on a daily basis and it becomes so ingrained that we think it’s normal. This lack of sleep eventually leads to sleep deprivation which causes many different symptoms you may not think are related. According to https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/307334.php some symptoms of sleep deprivation in adults are as follows:
- depressed mood
- difficulty learning new concepts
- inability to concentrate or a “fuzzy” head
- lack of motivation
- increased appetite and carbohydrate cravings
- reduced sex drive
These symptoms are not necessarily life threatening, but they can cause your overall quality of life to go down. Sleep deprivation also can have long term effects on your body that lead to bigger problems such as preventing the body from strengthening the immune system and producing more cytokines to fight infection. This can mean a person can take longer to recover from illness as well as having an increased risk of chronic illness. It can also result in an increased risk of new and advanced respiratory diseases, obesity and obesity related illnesses such as type 2 diabetes, can affect hormone production and increases the risk of cardiovascular disease. (https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/307334.php).
As stated above, sleep deprivation can also have a big impact on your mood. When you aren’t getting enough sleep, this puts you at higher risk for developing a mood disorder such as anxiety or depression (http://healthysleep.med.harvard.edu/need-sleep/whats-in-it-for-you/mood). If you find yourself not able to sleep and you are consciously making an effort, you could be suffering from an underlying problem. Therefore, it is recommended that you consult your therapist and your doctor to see what is the best course of action to get you on the right track to sleep success. Just like we need to make sure that we are eating well and exercising regularly, we must give our bodies the adequate rest it needs and deserves. So, be sure to take some time out and tend to your sleep needs, your body will thank you!
Intern, Olive Branch Counseling Associates, Inc.