A healthy sleep is vital to us. However, as soon as you suffer from insomnia for an extended period of time, sleep deprivation can have serious consequences for your health. In this post we will show you how sleep disorders manifest themselves and which symptoms a disturbed sleep can have.
Sleep is as important to us as eating healthy. If we can get to sleep properly and stay asleep, our immune system, organs and muscles can regenerate. Even our brain works on the back burner during sleep in order to process the sensory impressions of the day. Sleep is extremely important not only for our bodies but also for our minds. On average, we sleep almost a third of our lives. Usually, we should be rested and fit for the day in the morning and start our morning routines with energy. For many people, however, the start of the day under sleep deprivation looks different. Because they suffer from Difficulty falling asleep or difficulty sleeping through the night and as a result feel weak and tired and are unable to concentrate and demotivated due to their sleep disorders (e.g. insomnia). During the day they suffer from chronic fatigue due to lack of sleep and in the evening they cannot sleep. Sleep deprivation really wears you down and steals both your performance potential and your quality of life.
Typically, we should sleep seven to eight hours to fully recover. Lack of sleep or sleep deprivation robs your body of the opportunity to recover, which is why it loses its natural balance. If sleep is shorter than six hours, not only sleep disorders, but also depression, headaches, migraines and stress can be the result.
Dark eye rims, reddened eyes, pale skin: sleep disturbances, difficulty falling asleep or sleeping through the night will be reflected in your face at some point. At first, you can hide the traces caused by sleep disorders with make-up, but the tired eyes won't hide for long. If you suffer from insomnia over the long term, you will quickly resort to sleeping pills, which can, however, make your sleep problems worse. Many sleeping pills (e.g. benzodiazepines) develop dangerous tolerance and dependency very quickly when taken regularly, which can have serious health consequences.
If in doubt, those affected should therefore consult their doctor or a sleep laboratory. Because: Behind chronic sleep disorders and the associated symptoms, there can also be diseases. Such disturbed sleep behavior can have many reasons. These include narcolepsy, snoring, breathing disorders, teeth grinding, sleep apnea and parasomnias, which can only be determined in a sleep laboratory. Another cause of chronic sleep problems is sleepwalking. Many people, especially children, sleepwalk in their sleep without realizing it.
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The phone rings all the time, the computer goes nuts, your colleagues get on your nerves: If you explode over every little thing, it could be because of insomnia. Sleep disorders make you in a bad mood. The more often you are sleep deprived, the more sensitive and irritable you will be. This is mainly because the emotional center of your brain gets mixed up. Your emotional life is literally upside down due to your sleep disorders. Sleep problems mean that you can no longer correctly assess certain situations when you are tired, which is why you put every word on the famous gold scales. According to researchers, stress and chronic irritability are also bad for the heart. Sleep disorders are also considered to be stress triggers because you are constantly wondering whether or not you will have sleep problems the following night. If you often feel tense or irritable during the day, relaxation methods as well as natural nutrients can be a valuable support in addition to sleep.
If you stare into space for minutes without fixing a certain point, it may be because you have trouble sleeping. Daydreams and daytime sleepiness are a retreat from everyday life if you have sleep problems. If everything becomes too much for you and drowsiness takes over, your brain switches to "sleep mode" and tries not to overload itself with it.
While you overcome the early morning tiredness with several cups of coffee, the need for sleep increases during the day due to your sleep disorders. You suffer from daytime sleepiness, poor concentration and mood swings caused by sleep disorders, which is why you can hardly concentrate.
Since it is difficult to keep your sleep times at work, you sleep with your eyes open. Psychologists call this phenomenon “task-unrelated thought”. Although your brain never sleeps, you don't seem to be thinking of anything when you daydream. Due to your lack of sleep, daydreams put you in a kind of meditative state of consciousness, which is also known as hypersomnia (addiction to sleep).
Many people who have difficulty falling asleep and staying asleep after going to bed have a bad one sleep hygiene and sleeping habits. Sleep hygiene are behaviors that have a positive effect on your sleep. If your sleep hygiene is poor, a lack of sleep or a sleep disorder becomes more likely. Many have irregular bedtimes, rush from one appointment to another during the day, drink tons of coffee and ignore the signals from their body that indicate hypersomnia.
The fact is: If you have problems falling asleep after going to bed, you are not rested in the morning and complain of fatigue. Especially if he wants to eliminate his sleep disorders with certain unnatural sleeping pills or alcohol, shorten the duration of sleep, inhibit the quality of sleep and increase daytime sleepiness.
If your sleep hygiene is not right, not only will your concentration and judgment dwindle - your performance will also decrease. Since the brain shifts down a gear due to hypersomnia because it needs the energy to maintain vital processes, those affected find it difficult to make decisions and process emotions due to their difficulty falling asleep and staying asleep.
It becomes really dangerous when you drive your car when you are tired. As soon as you fall asleep behind the wheel, the effects of insomnia can be fatal. In Germany alone, 25 percent of accidents are caused by sleep disorders.
Even if you do sports and eat healthy, your sleep disorders will affect your hips in the long term. This is due to the appetite-stimulating hormone ghrelin, which is increasingly produced due to poor sleep hygiene. At the same time, the production of the hormone leptin, which suppresses your feeling of hunger, is reduced. Chronic sleep disorders lead to food cravings that can hardly be satisfied.
Poor nutrition can eventually lead to further symptoms such as high blood pressure or heart disease. Many also use alcohol to help them fall asleep better in the evening. However, alcohol not only disrupts the metabolism, which can lead to even more obesity, it also inhibits the quality of sleep. So there can be no question of rest in bed either.
Those who suffer from insomnia are more prone to infections. Poor sleep hygiene and a jumbled circadian rhythm actually make you sick. A study by the University of California in San Francisco even confirmed that people who slept for less than six hours were significantly more susceptible to colds than others.1 The risk was even greater for people who slept for less than five hours.
Sleep disorders not only affect your immune system - they also have a negative effect on your libido. This mainly affects men whose testosterone levels are falling due to insomnia. Studies have shown that manpower drops 15 percent when men sleep less than five hours in a week.2 That makes a fulfilling sex life unlikely.
When you are tired and have insomnia, you often resort to coffee to compensate for the lack of sleep and to get through the day. Caffeine is almost an everyday drug for people who suffer from sleep problems, especially difficulty falling asleep and staying asleep.
The pick-me-up works relatively quickly because the caffeine reaches the brain via the blood. There it blocks the release of adenosine. This is a messenger substance that makes us tired. However, if we drink too much of it, not only palpitations and nervousness, but also sleep disorders can be the result. Coffee and the associated release of adenosine stimulates the formation of the stress hormones adrenaline and cortisol, which releases enormous energy reserves. As soon as the coffee's effect wears off, we feel even more tired, which is why we resort to coffee again to counteract daytime sleepiness. A vicious circle begins.
In this case, the daily dose of 400mg caffeine should not be exceeded in order to avoid problems with blood pressure (e.g. high blood pressure) or heart disease.
People with poor sleep hygiene, who sleep less than six hours a day or who suffer from permanent sleep disorders, often complain of tension headaches. Statistically, 75 percent of patients with headaches also suffer from sleep disorders at the same time. Two thirds of patients already complain of headaches in the morning, which worsen during the day. The same is also true of migraines, where visual disturbances precede headaches. On the other hand, sleep disorders and a disturbed circadian rhythm can also be a result of headaches.3
Chronic sleep disorders are even considered a cause of depressive moods and stress, because we use up all energy reserves, so that we feel empty and burned out. The interplay is caused by a disturbed circadian rhythm Melatonin and serotonin out of whack. Serotonin, on the other hand, has a huge impact on our mood and has been heavily linked to depression. Depression manifests itself through fears, dejection and drive disorders, which in the worst case can lead to suicide.
Sleep is a real fountain of youth. The term beauty sleep is not so far removed from reality. Those who suffer from lack of sleep due to shift work often complain of impure skin. This is because the nightly release of growth hormones is disturbed. These hormones are used to regenerate our skin. If we don't have enough of it due to a lack of sleep, the skin appears dry, thin and wrinkled. In many cases, it is covered with pimples that make you feel like you're back through puberty.