Monday, January 6, 2020

Symptoms of Sleep Disorders and Causes of Sleep Deprivation

Sleep disorders are conditions that cause changes in sleep patterns or habits that can negatively affect your overall health, safety, and quality of life. Sleep deprivation or lack of sleep, whether short or long term, leads to many symptoms that can range from mild to more severe. Symptoms of sleep disorders may vary depending on the severity and type of sleep disturbances. Lack of sleep can occur due to many reasons, including sleep disorders, aging, stress, poor sleeping habits, school or job requirements, etc.


Sleep Disorders
Sleep deprivation - Symptoms and Causes

Symptoms of Sleep Disorders and Causes of Sleep Deprivation

Sleep and Health

Sleep is considered a complex and important process in the restoration and regeneration of the body, and it is also necessary for some physiological processes, such as organizing and creating experiences and combining memories.
Sleeping is one of the most important parts of the daily routine in a person’s life, as it constitutes nearly a third of the regular day, and sleep is no less important than other essentials such as water and food. People usually need eight hours of sleep a day, with individual differences. Sleep greatly affects many functions of the body's organs: the brain, nerves, heart, and lungs, as well as metabolism, mood, body immunity, and disease resistance.
It should be noted that sleep deprivation may contribute to an increased risk of multiple complications and health disorders related to blood pressure, heart disease, obesity, and depression.



Why Is Sleep Important?

Our bodies require long periods of sleep to retain information and perform better on memory tasks, repair tissue, develop muscles, and synthesize hormones.
The importance of sleep is demonstrated by the negative effects that patients suffer from, such as physical and psychological problems resulting from a disruption in the sleep process.  In fact, sleep is affected by the body's daily changes, such as the body's physical and mental changes that take place within 24 hours. These changes are regulated by the nerves that respond to light, hormones, and heat. These elements are also components of the biological clock, which would naturally regulate the stages of sleep and waking.

What are Sleep Disorders?

Sleep disorders are defined as the occurrence of disturbances in the quality of sleep, its timing, or the amount of time spent on it, resulting in problems in the performance of the tasks assigned to the patient during the day.
It is worth noting that sleep disorders are closely related to both physical and psychological problems, as sleep disorders may be a symptom of mental illness, and it may be considered one of the causes of some mental conditions.




Sleep Deprivation
A person spends nearly a third of his life in sleep. According to the study report, adults need about 7-9 hours of sleep a day. Lack of sleep is one of the problems prevalent in the modern era. Many people suffer from a lack of sleep in some period of their lives. This problem occurs when a person gets fewer hours of sleep than necessary to feel energetic and alert.
Some people are less affected by the consequences of sleep deprivation, such as: the elderly, some other groups, such as children and youth, are more affected by the consequences of lack of sleep.

Physical Effects of Sleep Deprivation

⇒Lack of sleep causes many serious health problems, including the following:
⇒Heart diseases, such as heart attacks, and heart failure, in addition to an irregular heartbeat.
⇒Fatigue and high blood pressure
⇒Stroke and hypertension
⇒Diabetes; people who sleep less than five hours of sleep a day are more likely to develop diabetes.
⇒Weight gain; those who sleep less than seven hours a day are more likely to gain weight and obesity.
⇒Loss of libido and reduced sexual desire in men and women.
⇒Reduced fertility in men and women.
⇒The negative impact on the immune system, which leads to greater exposure of the body to diseases such as colds and influenza.


Psychological and Neurobiological Consequences of Sleep Deprivation

Chronic sleep deprivation may lead to the following psychological and neurological consequences:

➭Mood disorders, psychological distress, sadness, anger, stress, depression, anxiety, and trouble with optimism.
➭Sleep deprivation adversely affects a person’s ability to think and learn as it leads to impaired attention, disorientation, weak focusing, and issues with logical thinking and problem-solving. 
➭The brain stores memories and information during the night. If you do not get enough sleep, your brain will not be able to save the information in the required manner.
➭Sleep deprivation can decrease your cognitive abilities and increase the risk for neurodegeneration issues, like Alzheimer's disease and dementia



What are the Symptoms of Sleep Disorders?

Everyone has difficulty sleeping but if you are facing this problem on an ongoing basis, then it gives you a hint of sleep disorders. Symptoms of sleep disorders may vary depending on the severity and type of sleep disturbances. When sleep disorders are the result of another condition, they may also vary. However, common symptoms of sleep disorders may include:
  • Daytime fatigue
  • Difficulty falling or staying asleep
  • Irritability or anxiety
  • Strong urge to take naps during the day
  • Stress and depression
  • Lack of concentration
Be aware of these symptoms and warning signs. If you find yourself experiencing one or more of these symptoms continuously, you should contact the sleep clinic immediately.

Symptoms of Sleep Deprivation
Sleep deprivation or lack of sleep, whether short or long-term, leads to many symptoms that may range from mild to more severe and more serious symptoms for the person. The following is an indication of some of the most prominent symptoms and signs that may appear if the body is deprived of sleep:

Sleepiness: The sleepiness and continued need for sleep during the day are among the first and most common symptoms of lack of sleep. Sleepiness may also develop into a feeling of drowsiness, fatigue, and poor body muscles.

Difficulty concentrating: People need rest and sleep for attention and focus during the day, and lack of sleep leads to difficulty in achieving this, and consequently, problems arise in the person's ability to perform daily and normal functions.

Mood changes: Sleep is as important for mental health as well as for physical health. Lack of sleep may lead to irritableness and irritability, which may be compounded by anxiety and depression.

Feeling the pain: Lack of sleep may lead to feeling some of the general and physical symptoms, such as feeling pain in different parts of the body, stomach discomfort, and feeling unwell.

Thinking and memory problems: Sleep deprivation affects people's cognitive abilities, and consequently to short-term memory disorders, difficulty in planning, poor organization, and impaired decision-making ability.

Mental and psychological symptoms: It is common for people deprived of sleep to suffer from some psychological symptoms, such as mental confusion, hallucinations that are usually visual in nature, and paranoia.

Read More: Can Lack of Sleep Make People More Violent?



Causes of Sleep Deprivation

In fact, some people may intentionally not take enough sleep to engage in recreational activities, the study, or work, as they see sleep as a waste of time. Also, some people may be forced to do so for reasons related to duties, as sleeping and sleeping too late, in addition to early awakening, leads to depriving the body of the sleep it needs. It is possible that the reason for lack of sleep is one of the health disorders or diseases, the most important of which are:

Sleep disturbances: Insomnia, Narcolepsy, Restless Legs Syndrome, and Sleep Apnea. Insomnia is when the person finds it difficult to go to sleep or to remain asleep. Obstructive sleep apnea is the frequent stop of breathing during sleep, which leads to waking up.

Aging: People over 65 suffer from sleep problems due to aging, the medications they take, or the health ailments they suffer from.

Delayed sleep phase syndrome (DSPS): DSPS is a type of circadian rhythm sleep disorder in which a person's sleep is delayed by 2 or more hours beyond what is considered a conventional or acceptable bedtime. Some people may not realize the importance of sleeping in their bodies, and instead of going to sleep early, they will stay up late at night, either through social contact, watching TV, reading a book, etc.

Some diseases: Lack of sleep is a common problem in people with certain diseases, such as: cancer, heart disease, and Parkinson's disease.

Depression: Depression is the continued feeling of sadness, loss of interest and pleasure in carrying out daily activities.

Anxiety and psychological pressure: This is the most common cause of insomnia, and the causes of anxiety may be related to bad news that a person heard during his day, or because of poverty, or it may be caused by marital problems.

Taking some medications: Taking certain types of medications, such as medications used to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and epilepsy, etc.

Eating a heavy meal before bedtime: This leads to indigestion, which causes insomnia.

Smoking: It is known that the nicotine present in tobacco is a brain stimulant, which can cause insomnia, not to mention its serious health problems.

Drink coffee or tea shortly before bedtime: It is known that drinking coffee or tea after seven in the evening may cause insomnia in many people.

Noise: some people cannot sleep because of the noise around it.

Night work: This occurs with pilots, nurses, and workers at varying times of the day.

Hypnotics: the use of hypnotics causes a disturbance in blood quality and may cause drowsiness during the day.

Not doing physical exertion: Most insomnia persists in people who work in offices or who do not do great physical exertion.

Read More: How to Get Rid of Lack of Sleep and Insomnia - Pharmacological and Non-Pharmacological Treatment



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