How much do you think you know about sleep? Do you think it’s just as a ‘time out’ from your busy daily routine? There’s a lot to it than that. This article will explain more about sleep and how it affects your mental health, so why don’t you pay keen attention and make the best out of your time.
The Oxford Dictionary defines sleep as “A regular recurring condition of body and mind in which the nervous system is inactive, the eyes closed, the postural muscles relaxed and consciousness practically suspended.”
But the Merriam Webster explains thus further that “Sleep is the natural periodic suspension of consciousness during which the powers of the body are restored.”
So you see that you’ll be needing enough sleep to recover from the day’s hurdle and restore a perfect system.
How important is this sleep of a thing?
Most time at work you must have felt drowsy, and if you can recall, the night before that you didn’t have much sleep; if you’ve ever been through that, you must know how important a night sleep is.
Sleep is significantly essential for your mental health – without a good sleep, you’ll be jeopardizing your mental health for life, and that is not as simple as it sounds.
After a research at the Mental Health Foundation, London UK, Dan Robotham commented: “Getting good quality sleep is essential, but insomnia is a huge problem and may be the most commonly reported mental health complaint in the UK. Mental health influences insomnia and insomnia can lead to mental health problems. Sleep medication is a commonly prescribed treatment for insomnia, but evidence from robust research suggests that Cognitive
Behavioural Therapy for Insomnia (CBTI) is the most successful treatment for chronic insomnia.”
Recent studies have proven that our busy lives have cost us over 120 minutes of sleep every night, relating to the 1900’s – you know this is just for a typical person, not to mention those with several sleeping issues, it means they must permanently sleep-deprived.
In the United States today, it has been recorded that over 40 million people per year suffer from several chronic and long-term sleeping disorder, with over 20 million having recurring sleep issues.
Most chronic mental issues, reduced immune system, heart diseases, depression anxiety and even cancer are all linked to poor sleeping habits – no wonder these sleeping defects is costing over $16 billion medical cost yearly. Note that the indirect cost due to lost productivity isn’t included.
Medically, there are over 80 different sleeping issues recorded, ranging from the inability to stay awake (narcolepsy) to the inability to sleep (insomnia). Luckily enough, most of these defects are just temporary, so you could step out of the box and find the several self-help measures to help you build up a better sleeping routine.
Adding to that, most of these sleeping issues could be a symptom of other health and mental conditions, so it’s always necessary to seek medical attention if these symptoms persist.
Now let’s talk a little about these mental issues
This is a preeminent sleeping defect that has been affecting over 20 percent of the world population.
The major symptoms include;
- Problems falling asleep, and difficulties staying asleep – you will definitely wake up over 100 times each night.
- Waking up too early.
- Sleepiness during the daytime.
- Impaired concentration and memory defects.
Short-term insomnia lasts for just a few nights or weeks and could be caused be as a result of stuff like:
- Change in environmental noise level and jetlag.
- Temperature fluctuation.
- Side effects caused by medicines.
Unlike short-term insomnia, chronic insomnia lasts longer and is often caused by factors that include underlying mental and physical health problems. Adding to that are other behavioral factors such as altering your normal routine for a long-term, or excessive alcohol, caffeine and lots more.
You shouldn’t ever imagine having a sleeping disorder like this. Narcolepsy is a brain disorder that alters and upsets the regulation of your sleep pattern.
Narcolepsy comes with heavy symptoms of excessive sleepiness – you could doze off even when driving, talking and even working. But funny enough, the sleeping period doesn’t last long, it lasts for 30 seconds, and 30 minutes at most.
Over the years, there has not been any proven cure for narcolepsy, but you could adjust your sleeping routine, improve your diet and exercises to control the symptoms.
If you’ve slept around a patient, you’ll know the level of seriousness. Unlike most sleeping disorders, the Sleep apnoea is accompanied with an acute and loud snoring which comes at brief intervals and causes them to wake up for breath – this could happen for hundreds of time the same night and the patient will definitely turn out drowsy and tired during the day.
The patients are not always conscious of these brief awakenings during the night. Obstructive Sleep Apnoea (OSA) restricts your airway way and would require an urgent medical attention for control.
If you’re having issues with Sleep Apnoea, then you should watch your weight. You should also seek for medical attention. There has been a recent improvement in Sleep Apnoea control, a special machine has been built to pump airs into your nose and keep your airway open while you sleep.
One of the most disastrous results of these sleeping issues is the driver’s fatigue.
According to a report by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, driver fatigue is responsible for over 100,000 road accidents with 1500 deaths yearly. If you are not concerned about your mental health, then just take that sleep so you won’t be endangering the lives of people around you. A sleep-deprived driver drives much more disastrous than an intoxicated driver.
Adding to that, sleep deprivation reduces your alters the nervous system and boosts the effect of alcohol on the body, so a drowsy person will be much more impaired than a person that has gotten enough rest.
Sleep deprivation could jeopardize your mental health.
A recent study shows that Rapid Eye Movement (REM) Sleep, plays a cumbersome role in stimulating our brain regions that are essential for learning. Those involved in the study were taught several skills and a fraction of them were deprived of REM sleep, this caused them to perform very poorly, unlike the other fraction that had a full REM sleep.
If you’ve really paid keen attention, it’ll be obvious that when sleep is disrupted, it impairs our ability to think faster and affects our mental health. Why don’t you shut your system, lay your bed and get a nice sleep.