Sleep is as essential to life as food and water. It’s part of your body’s recovery process, repairing itself from the previous day's stresses and preparing for the next.
Yet, when life gets busy, the luxury of sleep is the first thing to go. But lack of sleep does more than make you feel a little tired. Over time, not getting enough sleep, whether from a packed schedule or a sleep disorder, can have serious repercussions on your health.
Here, we want to discuss sleep disorders and how they affect your overall health when left untreated.
Most people have a hard time sleeping on occasion. But a sleep disorder is different. It’s a condition that regularly affects your ability to get a good night of sleep, making you feel so tired during the day that it impairs your ability to function.
There are about 80 known sleep disorders. Insomnia, sleep apnea, and restless legs syndrome (RLS) are some of the more common sleep disorders. Estimates show that more than 70 million people in the US have a sleep disorder.
Not getting enough sleep night after night affects your physical and emotional well-being. When you’re tired, everything slows down. You may have a hard time remembering things and making decisions, and you may feel more irritable and quick to anger. These cognitive symptoms may affect your mental well-being, leading to problems like depression or anxiety.
Not getting enough sleep also disrupts the production of hormones that control stress, metabolism, and appetite. These hormonal changes may have long-term health consequences, putting you at risk of developing chronic health problems like diabetes, obesity, and heart disease.
Though sleep needs vary, you should get at least 7 hours a night. If you suspect a sleep disorder is making it hard for you to fall asleep or stay asleep, it’s time to schedule a sleep evaluation. We can review your symptoms and do a sleep study or a home sleeping test to determine the root cause of your sleep troubles.
Treatment for sleep disorders centers around lifestyle changes, like maintaining a regular sleep schedule, keeping your bedroom cool and comfortable, and getting regular exercise. We may also prescribe medications or devices to treat specific sleep disorders like sleep apnea or RLS.
Sleep disorders can be a risk factor for chronic diseases. If you want to sleep and feel better, call our office today or book an appointment online to schedule your evaluation.