As findings of studies on the effects of sleep emerge, we are seeing just how vital good, sound sleep is to our overall health. Once assumed to merely create daytime fatigue and sleepiness, lack of adequate sleep is now being associated with a long list of serious health risks.
Studies show that irregular sleep on a frequent basis creates a higher mortality rate than for people who get regular sufficient sleep.
Sleepiness and fatigue at the wheel and on the job can also be life threatening. Studies claim that sleep deprived drivers are just as dangerous as drunk drivers based on equally-delayed reaction times. Additionally, lack of sleep is associated with more accidents on the job or at home. And, ‘brain fog’ is a real and debilitating problem caused by insufficient sleep. Long-term memory can be permanently damaged due to lack of sleep on a frequent basis.
Chronic disease risks greatly increase from inadequate sleep. Approximately 90% of people with insomnia have a life-threatening chronic health condition as well. Some of the most common that increase from lack of sleep include heart disease, heart attacks, high blood pressure, stroke, diabetes, depression and an irregular heartbeat.
Sleep is also essential to the cognitive processes associated with learning. A lack of sleep lowers alertness and attention span that makes it easier to absorb and retain information.
Sleep deprivation can even cause visible damage to your appearance. Restful sleep helps your body maintain efficient appetite and hunger regulation. Studies have shown that people who sleep less than seven hours a day are 30% more likely to be obese than those who get nine or more hours. Added to weight gain are puffy eyes and sallow skin, dark circles under the eyes, and facial lines, which can all become permanent. Skin elasticity can also be compromised without enough sleep.
Studies also show that both men and women who suffer from sleep loss have lower libidos and less interest in sexual relations. Men who suffer from sleep apnea also tend to have lower testosterone levels, which can lower libido.
We can go on and on about the negative effects of sleep loss, but you get the picture. Sufficient, restful sleep is a necessary component of a healthy body and mind. If you are frequently fatigued during the day or nod off easily, ask us about screenings for heavy snoring or sleep apnea. If it is determined that this is the problem, we are trained to create custom mouth appliances that are comfortable, effective and FDA approved. Call 1-866-9-Smiles to learn more.