Effects of Insomnia on Health | What You Need to Know

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effects of insomnia on health

Effects of Insomnia on Health

Whether you have insomnia, or struggle to fall asleep, you already know that it is a miserable way to live. Why else would there be so many people looking for how to fall asleep? What you may not know is that insomnia has numerous long term effects, and is actually really bad for your health and overall well being. Here is a short list of the effects of insomnia on health.

  • Accident Prone
  • Illnesses
  • Quality of Life
  • Depression
  • Obesity
  • Headaches

If you live the life of random sleeping hours, or have suffered from some type insomnia for the past few years,  then you may be experiencing these symptoms already. Most people are unaware of the symptoms and just see it as a part of daily life, but it can be better! If you have never tried to have a great nights sleep and just treat sleep as “that thing you do every night” then listen up, this is what happens when you do not sleep properly!

accident prone

Accident Prone

Believe it or not, lack of a good nights sleep over time can cause you to be accident prone than people that do not suffer from some type of insomnia.

Living your life in an exhausted state can leave your mind in a sort of fog that prevents you from making clear decisions. You lack the ability to concentrate on your daily activities as much as you would if you were well rested. Slower response times to sudden situations can cause you to be slower at performing sudden actions like moving out of the way, or even worse, hitting the brakes while you are driving.

The amount of car accidents that can be blamed on insomnia or other fatigue related issues is astounding. It is estimated that one in six auto accidents are the direct result of fatigue or sleepiness. 

Looking to find more effects of insomnia on health and wellness? Keep reading!

illness prone

Illness

People that lack the right amount of sleep are prone to sickness and chronic diseases more than normal sleepers. Sounds crazy right? Let me explain this crazy phenomenon.

When you sleep, you sleep in stages. Each stage leads up to the final stage of REM (Rapid Eye Movement) sleep. It takes about 90 minutes or so to get to REM, but in this stage your body is repairing itself. Your brain uses this time to increase your white blood cell count to attack foreign bacteria and viruses and repair damaged tissues while you sleep. Dreaming is thought to take what you have learned since your last REM sleep and organize what is useful and what is not. Scientists theorize that is what is going on and no one knows 100% what is actually happening during this time.

Research has shown that people who do not get enough REM sleep lack the white blood cell increase at night that fights off the bad stuff in your body. This can play havoc on your hormones and can lead to chronic illnesses that will just make things worse. Imagine having insomnia that makes the insomnia worse down the road. Take your nights sleep seriously and you will be a healthier individual.

Just a heads up, insomniacs show significantly higher rates of developing heart disease. That good nights sleep may just save your life.

 

quality of life

Lower Quality of Life

I remember seeing one research study about the quality of life for insomniacs. We have already mentioned being accident prone and a higher risk for chronic illnesses, but the quality or your daily life suffers as well.

There are more side effects of insomnia we will talk about later, but the overall quality of life for insomniacs is different than non-insomniacs. Regular sleepers wake up refreshed and more energetic throughout the day than their insomniac counterparts. Getting that much needed long sleep not only recharges your batteries, but also helps to keep your attention focused on the duties at hand.  Allowing you to work easier and make better decisions throughout your day.

Another side effect is just being generally unhappy. Nothing seems to make you happy and you live your day in a grumpy status. Have your friends or co-workers called you out on this lately? You may be in need of some much needed sleep.

depressed

Depression

Since your quality of life suffers from insomnia, depression is a very common side effect as well. Being sleepy or tired all day, bad attitude, the inability to focus on a task or just generally unhappy about everything leads you right into depression. An ongoing lack of a good nights sleep can effect your brain chemistry and leave you in a funk of depression until you find a way out. Unfortunately, everyone wants to medicate their way out of it. Try to make changes to your daily routine and see if it increases your nightly sleep for a week and see how you feel.

There are also links to lack of REM sleep and depression. If you suffer from bad sleep patterns that are causing insomnia, check out my other post HERE on some natural remedies to deal with insomnia. You can also try THESE methods as well to help get that good nights sleep you deserve.

obesity

Obesity

A Study done in 2013 has shown the link between sleep disorders and obesity. People that suffer from insomnia, or get less than seven to eight hours of sleep are more likely to overeat. It is thought this overeating boosts your energy temporarily, instead of giving your body the time to produce it naturally.  This leads to overeating. This is another one of the effects of insomnia on health and your well being.

Once this process starts, your body can start sending hormones that lead to you eating even more, eventually causing obesity. The hormone Cortisol is responsible for causing this stress and makes you hungry.

There is a great deal of evidence that suggest that individuals who do not get seven to eight hours of sleep a night are much more likely to over eat. This can obviously lead to obesity if the situation continues. It seems that when you don’t get enough sleep, your hormones signal to your body to eat more. Cortisol is a stress hormone that causes hunger.

Check out the Abstract from the 2012 study for yourself.

Decreased sleep duration and quality is associated with an increase in body weight and adiposity. Insomnia, obstructive sleep apnea, and restless legs syndrome are three of the most prevalent types of sleep disorder that lead to an increased risk for numerous chronic health conditions. Various studies have examined the impact of these sleep disorders on obesity, and are an important link in understanding the relationship between sleep disorders and chronic disease. Physical activity and exercise are important prognostic tools in obesity and chronic disease, and numerous studies have explored the relationship between obesity, sleep disorders, and exercise. As such, this review will examine the relationship between sleep disorders and obesity. In addition, how sleep disorders may impact the exercise response and how exercise may impact patient outcomes with regard to sleep disorders will also be reviewed.

If you are suffering from some type of sleep disorder, it is time to start looking to make some changes while you can. Since we are all aware of the dangers of obesity, and taking into account what we know of effects of insomnia on health, you should seek medical attention if this sounds like you.

headache

Headaches

On top of everything else, the headaches are the instant mechanism that will ruin your day. Not getting enough sleep on a regular basis will lead to moderate to severe headaches during the day. Bad headaches can be a problem at work or even dealing with children if you are a stay at home mom.

Sadly, with headaches, most people turn to medication to treat the headaches. This can lead to a dependency of pain management medications and cause further problems that can create more barriers to a good nights sleep. Instead of treating the headache, why not treat the source instead?

Having a good nights sleep can help prevent these headaches and lead to a healthy day after. Knowing the effects of insomnia on health and your well being can dramatically cut back these headaches. As a long time sufferer of cluster headaches myself, a great nights rest and a better diet has worked MIRACLES.

 

Conclusion

Preventing yourself from having a good nights sleep on a regular basis can create a very uncomfortable life. For those suffering from insomnia, I hope this post encourages you to seek some assistance to overcome it. Understanding the effects of insomnia on health and wellness is just one step to increasing your quality of life.

Your body needs the sleep to fulfill the duties that you are not aware of, such as tissue repair and other preventative maintenance your body needs to survive.

If you suspect that you have insomnia, some people don’t even realize it, start by making some of the changes found in the site to get a good nights sleep. If everything I offered is not helping you get to sleep, please seek out a doctor for assistance. Some people have medical conditions that have the early symptoms of insomnia, while other chronic diseases can prevent sleep all together.

 

Happy Sleeping!

Of all of my hobbies and passions, I love sleep the most! Most people treat sleep as just something you do, but if you make some positive changes in your routine, you can have the a great nights sleep. A great nights sleep will change your life!

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