Are You Sleepy? You May Be Grumpy and Dopey, Too

Are You Sleepy? You May Be Grumpy and Dopey, Too - Large

Shortchanging yourself on sleep can mess with your mental health, your physical health, your quality of life and your safety. While a cup of coffee or a nap can help temporarily, the only real solution is to get the sleep you need – every night – to meet your body’s unique needs.

Your first step is to name the cause. Stress at home or work could be the culprit. You may suffer from sleep apnea, a condition that causes you to stop breathing many times during sleep. Snoring, snorting or gasping noises during sleep could be telltale signs of sleep apnea. You might also have insomnia – trouble falling and staying asleep.

Don’t ignore the signs. Your sleep shortage could pose serious consequences, says Dr. Christopher Lauricella, DO, of Family Medicine of Vandalia.

Click play to watch the video or read the transcript.

How does insomnia affect a person’s health?

Insomnia can affect a person’s health in a number of different ways. Sleep is actually complicated. It’s much more than a dormant state we go through every night. There are different stages of sleep and each one of these stages is important for the good, feeling-refreshed you get in the morning. When we are not getting enough sleep we will usually wake up feeling irritable. Our blood pressure will be higher. There are certain hormones like cortisol and what not that can be much higher that will increase our appetite for foods that maybe aren’t the best choice. It also increases our general feeling of irritability and anxiety and these things can start leading to behavior patterns like alcohol consumption and discord in marriages that aren’t good for us as human beings. Sleep can dramatically affect all aspects of health. Insomnia being the lack of or inability to get good sleep starts to echo through all aspects of your life. You wake up and you feel lousy. You start having anxiety about going to bed. These people are usually not motivated to engage in much more than the bare minimum in their life. They start withdrawing from aspects of their marriage, they aren’t exercising regularly, their blood pressure goes up, their diet generally deteriorates and all these things then echo through their cholesterol and diabetes control and all other aspects of their life. Addressing sleep can very often improve all aspects of their overall health.

 

Dr. Lauricella recommends asking your doctor for help to get back to sound slumber. Together, you can find a solution to avoid the serious side effects of sleep deprivation.

Don’t Wake Up to Chronic IllnessAre You Sleepy? You May Be Grumpy and Dopey, Too - In Content

Skimping on sleep has been linked to many chronic diseases:

  • Diabetes: Insufficient sleep is linked to an increased risk for developing Type 2 diabetes. If you already have Type 2 diabetes, getting enough good-quality sleep can be an important way to improve blood sugar control.
  • Cardiovascular disease: People with sleep apnea are at a higher risk for a number of cardiovascular diseases – hypertension, stroke, coronary heart disease and cardiac arrhythmias (irregular heartbeats).
  • Obesity: Habitual lack of sleep can lead to metabolic changes that are linked to obesity.
  • Depression: Sleep and depression have a complicated relationship. Sleep disturbance can be a key symptom of depression – and depression may decrease once sufficient sleep is restored. If you have a sleep disorder, it’s important that you and your doctor be on the lookout for any signs of depression.
Your sleep shortage could pose serious consequence

Don’t Drowse and Drive

We all know that drinking and driving don’t mix, but drowsy driving – when you’re behind the wheel and feeling sleepy – can be equally dangerous. If you can’t remember the last few miles you’ve driven, or you missed your exit or drifted out of your lane, pull over to rest or change drivers.

Listen to Your Body

While the most common outcome of sleep deprivation is excessive daytime sleepiness, your body will give you other clues that it needs more shuteye by responding with one or more of these symptoms:

  • Irritability
  • Lack of motivation
  • Lack of concentration
  • Anxiety
  • Fatigue
  • Restlessness
  • Lack of coordination
  • Increased errors
  • Forgetfulness
  • Lack of energy
Small Steps: Get Enough Sleep
You're less likely to put yourself at risk of developing depression or anxiety.