Feeling tired during the day is often the first red flag that you’re not getting enough sleep. Unfortunately, it’s all too easy to pour another cup of coffee, perk up, and forget about it.
But when daytime drowsiness becomes a regular problem, you find yourself dozing off during a business meeting, or worse yet, falling asleep behind the wheel, it’s time to take steps to improve the quality of your sleep.
Lack of sleep, or sleep deprivation, does more than make you sluggish during the day. It also has a long-term impact on your physical and mental health.
The team at MindSet diagnose the cause of the problem and offer treatments proven to overcome sleep disorders, such as cognitive behavioral therapy and transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS).
Here’s a rundown of the complications caused by sleep loss and how we can help you prevent them.
Sleep loss affects your physical health
While you sleep, memories are processed and stored, learning pathways are strengthened, and your brain actively eliminates toxins.
Sleep loss affects nearly every system in your body, leading to health problems such as:
Sleep deprivation is closely associated with high blood pressure, coronary artery disease, arrhythmias, heart failure, heart attack, and stroke.
It only takes 1-2 hours of sleep loss to make a difference. Adults who sleep less than six hours a night are 20%-32% more likely to develop high blood pressure compared to those who get 7-8 hours of sleep.
Lack of sleep affects your body’s ability to use insulin, which in turn leads to high blood sugar and diabetes.
When you don’t get enough sleep, hormones that normally regulate hunger become imbalanced. People also tend to consume more calories and carbohydrates when they suffer from lack of sleep.
Sleep deprivation is associated with imbalances in hormones, such as cortisol, melatonin, testosterone, human growth hormone, insulin, ghrelin, and leptin.
Weak immune system
People who don’t get enough sleep have a higher risk of getting sick after they’re exposed to a virus. This may be due to the fact that sleep loss decreases the production of infection-fighting cells. Sleep deprivation can also interfere with your recovery from an illness, as your immune response slows down.
Sleep loss affects your mental health
Mental health disorders, such as depression, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), have a close relationship with sleep. Sleep deprivation often leads to depression and anxiety. Adults with insomnia are four times more likely to develop depression.
On the other hand, mental health disorders also cause sleep problems. An estimated 65%-90% of adults and 90% of children with depression experience insomnia or another type of sleep disorder.
Children with developmental disabilities like attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and autism also struggle to get a good night’s sleep. Many of them have a hard time falling asleep and staying asleep long enough to get a good night’s rest.
Steps to prevent sleep loss
The best way to prevent sleep loss is to pay attention to your bedtime habits. The steps to good sleep hygiene include:
- Going to bed and getting up at the same time every day
- Turning off all lights, along with your TV, tablet, computer, and smartphone
- Following a bedtime routine that helps you slow down and relax
- Avoiding all caffeine for at least 4-6 hours before bedtime
- Staying away from alcohol at night
Even if you diligently maintain healthy sleep hygiene habits, you may still have a hard time sleeping if you have an underlying health condition. That’s when we can help with cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and TMS.
CBT is one of the only therapies proven to help people with insomnia, including children and adolescents. TMS takes an entirely different approach.
TMS treats conditions that cause sleep loss
TMS treats the sleep and mental health disorders that interrupt your sleep, such as:
- Central sleep apnea
- Restless legs syndrome
These conditions are directly associated with abnormal nerve activity in certain areas of your brain. That’s where TMS can help.
TMS uses safe, painless magnetic waves to stimulate nerve activity in precise areas of your brain. After a series of TMS treatments, normal electrical activity returns, neurochemical levels are restored, the underlying problem improves, and you finally get a good night’s sleep.
If lack of sleep has you dragging through the day, call MindSet or schedule an appointment online today.