Living with a sleep disorder doesn’t just mean feeling tired or a general sense of malaise. There are some very real consequences for your physical and mental health that come along with having a sleep disorder, some of which can be quite serious indeed. If you have a sleep disorder, and you’re on the fence about getting help for your problem, the following should be all of the evidence you need to seek treatment today. Here are some of the risks living with sleep disorders.
Sleep Deprived = Accident Prone
A lack of sleep is the chief causative factor attributed to a number of accidents over the years, including disasters like the Exxon Valdez oil spill and the Three Mile Island incident in 1979. Being drowsy can slow your reaction time to the same extent as driving while intoxication – being sleep deprived is through to contribute to as many as 100,000 car accidents and over 1,000 fatalities annually in the United States alone.
You’re Not As Smart When You’re Sleep Deprived
A lack of sleep has a serious impact on your ability to think critically and to learn new things. It can limit your alertness, attention span and inhibit your problem-solving abilities. Sleep also helps us to solidify what we’ve learned during the day in our minds and failing to get the sleep you need can leave you unable to remember what you’ve learned.
Sleep Disorders Can Be Dangerous To Your Health
The chronic fatigue that sleep disorders can cause can increase your risk of heart disease, high blood pressure, and stroke, as well as making you more likely to develop diabetes and other serious health problems. Insomnia is a frequent comorbidity with other conditions, with almost 90% of insomniacs also suffering from other health problems.
Sleep Disorders Can Leave Your Libido Lagging
When you don’t get enough sleep, your libido suffers too. This is true of both men and women, but in men, studies have shown that sleep apnea and other sleep disorders are linked with low testosterone levels, which helps to explain the effect of sleep disorders on sex drive.
Sleep Disorders Can Lead To Depression
Depression has also been linked to sleep disorders. Insomnia is most closely linked to depression, with one study showing that insomniacs were five times more likely to develop depression than were the general public. The two disorders can form a vicious cycle as well, with insomnia being a common symptom of depression – and lack of sleep exacerbating the other symptoms of depression. However, treating one disorder can often improve the other.
Sleep Disorders Are Bad For Your Skin
When it becomes a chronic problem, a lack of sleep can cause dull skin, fine lines and wrinkles and of course, dark circles under your eyes. Not getting enough sleep causes your body to produce cortisol, a stress hormone – which, in excess, can cause a breakdown of collagen, the protein that helps your skin stay elastic and smooth.
Sleep Disorders Are Linked With Weight Gain
Not getting enough sleep can lead to an increase in appetite, which can, in turn, lead to obesity. People who don’t get enough sleep (defined as under six hours daily) are 30% more likely to become overweight or obese than those who get at least seven hours of sleep a night. As it turns out, sleep is closely linked to the production of hormones which regulate appetite – and if you want to stay slim, getting treatment for your sleep disorder is a high priority, not to mention the other potential health problems.