In my last post I talked about the four main categories of sleep disorders. Let’s talk about how they affect your life.
Adequate rest and sleep are critical for mental and physical health, and are required to function effectively in your daily life. A well-rested brain is necessary for optimal performance in processing, retaining, and recalling information; effective decision-making; storing memories; and managing emotions. A well-rested body is necessary for optimal performance in areas such as quick reflexes, sustained energy levels and energy endurance, and a responsive immune system.
If left untreated, sleep disorders and ongoing sleep deprivation can severely affect your mental and physical well-being. You may be familiar with the short-term consequences of sleep deprivation such as increased stress and anxiety, errors in judgment, irritability and other mood problems, decreased performance, and decreased alertness leading to accidents or other traumatic events.
Many are unaware that chronic sleep deprivation can have a lasting, detrimental impact on the body and mind over time. Research has shown that sufficient sleep plays a prominent role in long-term health and the body’s ability to ward off chronic diseases and medical conditions. Healthy sleep is a key aspect of chronic disease prevention, while insufficient sleep has been linked to diseases and disorders such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, obesity, hypertension, depression, anxiety, and increased addictive behaviors (NCBI).
Charles R. Freeman, Ph.D. | Sleep, Pain, Behavioral Medicine Psychologist & Addictionologist | Available online (Skype) and in-person in San Diego and Encinitas, CA.