It is an acknowledged fact that sleep plays a pivotal role in our lives. Many scholars have come up with different theories that try to explaining the sleeping habits exhibited by humans. Regardless of the difference in explanation, people agree that sleeping is a crucial ritual, and lack thereof may lead to negative psychological and physical effects on one’s productivity.
This paper shall set out explore the relevance of adequate sleep to an individual. This shall be achieved by reviewing the effects of inadequate sleep to the productivity of an individual. Similarly, the repercussions of long-term sleep deprivation shall be analyzed and solutions to various sleeping disorders suggested.
A person is said to be suffering from a sleeping disorder when he/she lacks the ability to have regular and undisrupted sleep. Up to date, sleeping disorders are classified into two categories. They are Parasomnias and Dyssomnia. Parasomnia causes acute phenomena during one’s sleep.
Examples of such occurrences include nightmares and sleepwalking. On the other hand, Dyssomnia relates to sleep disorders that develop as a result of lack of adequate sleep. Examples include insomnia and sleep apnea. Dyssomnia shall be the focus of our discussion.
Effects of Sleep Deprivation
There are various effects that are associated with long-term sleep reduction. Inadequate sleep over a significant length of time may weaken the immune system. In addition, there is documented evidence that shows that total lack of sleep is fatal to some species. Similarly, sleep deprivation also affects the physical health of an individual.
For example, it has been noted that lack of adequate and regulated sleep may cause hypertension. This is a serious condition in which blood pressure levels increase gradually. This can cause serious organ damage and can lead to the development of life-threatening conditions such as heart attacks, strokes and renal failure.
Similarly, lack of adequate sleep may lead to behavioral changes. Sleep deprivation leads to anxiety, mood swings, inattentiveness and fatigue. This is especially dangerous to people working with heavy machinery, motor vehicles and other sensitive areas.
In addition, lack of adequate sleep may have detrimental effects on normal brain functions. conducted studies indicate that in most cases, the brain of sleep deprived individuals often try to compensate in particular tasks as a result of inadequate rest. This leads to serious damages in different brain segments that deal with cognition, verbal, and visual bodily functions.
In regard to physical effects, lack of adequate sleep may lead to further damage of critical muscles and skin cells. This is mainly due to the fact that sleeping gives the body time to restore and repair damaged muscles and cells. As such, lack of adequate sleep mitigates this process and may have serious effects on one’s physical wellbeing.
In addition, sleep deprivation may lead to stress and depression. In most cases, sleeping helps the body cope with external pressures. As such, lack of adequate sleep leads to a situation whereby an individual has a lot on his mind and no way to handle the pressure. This situation is among the core causes of stress and depression among adults. Also, increased stress and depression worsens an individual’s ability to sleep adequately. This may have life-threatening and long-term psychological side effects on a person.
In addition, lack of adequate sleep affects the body’s ability to perform normal metabolic functions such as carbohydrate storage and secretion of various hormones. Results from a recent study evaluating the effects of sleep deprivation indicated that lack of adequate sleep for a prolonged period leads to various aging ailments such as diabetes (type-2), memory loss and obesity.
This was attributed to the fact that the body lacked enough time to perform critical body functions that counter and mitigate such ailments. In addition, it is argued that most part of the growth process occurs when one is asleep. As such, the ability of the body to grow efficiently is therefore inhibited by lack of adequate sleep.
Remedies to sleep deprivation
Over the years, scientists and other specialists have developed medications and other interventions that could be used to cure or at the least retard sleeping disorders. In the treatment of insomnia, sedatives and hypnotics have proven to be effective and are among the most commonly used remedies to sleep disorders.
Similarly, over-the-counter pills that contain anti-histamines have also been used to counter sleep disorders. However, it has been noted that they may cause daytime sleepiness. In some cases, antidepressants have been used to cure sleep disorders that are as a result of stress and depression.
Similarly, diet, exercise and meditation have also been documented as viable and effective measures to counter sleep disorders. For example, nutritionists often advice people to take a glass of warm milk, light meals and avoid coffee before sleeping. Such measures ensure that individuals sleep well without any discomfort.
In addition, lighting and minimization of noise can also help individuals get adequate sleep devoid of distractions. Exercise and meditation help individuals relieve stress therefore enabling them to sleep easily and comfortably. For example, yoga and acupuncture have over the years been used as stress relieving interventions. Using these treatments may help an individual find balance, peace and subsequently; quality sleep.
On the same note, therapy has proven to be an effective intervention where sleep deprivation is exhibited. Through talk therapy, individuals are able to work through the issues that stress them. In addition, talk therapy helps individuals acquire the necessary skills needed to cope with various challenges such as time management, conflict resolution and life or work stresses.
Arguably, a healthy mind is a peaceful mind. As such, people should avoid using substances that affect the brain’s functionality. For example, substance, alcohol and nicotine use have been known to disrupt the normal sleep pattern. As such, avoiding such substances is a good way of treating sleeping disorders .
This paper set out to explore the effects of inadequate sleep on an individual’s body and mind. To this end, the importance of sleep has been discussed and effects of lack of adequate sleep reviewed. The different categories of sleep disorders have been highlighted and possible solutions offered.
At the same time, other interventions that could be used to mitigate sleep deprivation have also been suggested. From this paper, it can therefore be deduced that regular undisrupted sleep is of great importance to one’s wellbeing. As such, people should ensure that they schedule their sleeping time in a manner that will allow them to have adequate sleep. In so doing, they will have avoided the serious physical, physiological and mental side effects that may arise as a result of inadequate sleep.