What are Sleep Disorders?
The importance of quality sleep for the brain and body cannot be overstated. For optimal brain function, emotional well-being, and physical health, adults need 7-9 hours of sleep, teens need 8-10 hours, and younger children need even more. A single sleepless night can lead to fatigue, anxiety, bad moods, and brain fog. People who suffer from insomnia or other sleep disorders (such as sleep apnea) may also struggle with anxiety, depression, addictions, memory problems, dementia, pain, obesity, cardiovascular problems, diabetes, hyperactivity, low sex drive, gastrointestinal problems, and more.
Who is Affected by Sleep Disorders?
Singaporeans are the third most sleep-starved population, after Tokyo and Seoul, in a 2014 survey of 43 cities. It is progressively getting worse with the proliferation of gadgets and bad habits.
An estimated 50-70 million Americans suffer from some form of sleep disorder. Nearly one-third of us suffer from short-term bouts of insomnia, the most common sleep disorder. And chronic insomnia affects approximately 1 in 10 people. The rates are even higher among people with psychiatric disorders. In fact, over 50% of the time, insomnia is tied to stress, anxiety, or depression. Research shows that about 75% of people with depression also have insomnia. From 69 to 99% of people with bipolar disorder experience insomnia or feel a reduced need for sleep during manic episodes. Over half of the people with anxiety have trouble sleeping. And children with ADHD are more likely to experience sleep disorders than kids without the condition.
What are the Symptoms of Sleep Disorders?
Signs of sleep disorders include having trouble falling asleep or staying asleep, experiencing daytime fatigue, or feeling like you need to take a nap during the day. Other symptoms include anger, irritability, anxiety, depression, lack of concentration, and brain fog.
What Causes Sleep Disorders?
Many things can contribute to occasional sleep disturbances, such as chronic pain, restless leg syndrome, jet lag, medications, hormonal imbalances, depression, exposure to blue light, substance use, aging, and variety of other potential reasons.
Over time, sleep problems can lead to a higher risk of:
- Panic Attacks
- Brain Fog
- Memory Problems
- Traumatic Brain Injury
- Suicidal thoughts and behaviors
Sleep-Deprived Brains Work Differently
Emerging research shows that during sleep, your brain cleans or washes itself by eliminating cellular debris and toxins that build up during the day (basically taking out the neural trash). This trash includes the beta-amyloid plaques associated with Alzheimer’s disease. During sleep, the brain also consolidates learning and memory, and it prepares for the following day. The brain processes that occur during sleep are also important for the health of your immune system, appetite control, and neurotransmitter production. A chronic lack of sleep means your brain doesn’t perform these important functions at optimal levels.
Yours in Health,
Prof Sundardas D Annamalay
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“Psychosomatic experiencing is about working directly with your nervous system. You are about to become intimately familiar and comfortable with your inner survival system. You will learn how to shift the different emotional states to a manageable level within a few minutes.
When our emotions are running our lives, we are not in a state of calm aliveness. Rather, there are imbalances in the nervous system that cause problems. It causes imbalances in other systems and organs in our body. Not to mention how these imbalances influence our thoughts, feelings and behaviours towards ourselves and others.”