Sleep disorders: what can lack of sleep do to you?

Sleep disorders: what can lack of sleep do to you?
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Sleep deprivation has been linked to a series of serious health problems

We all know that waking up more tired than when you went to bed can make you feel grumpy and groggy. But what you might not know is that lack of sleep can lead to a range of more serious complications, affecting your physical and mental health. In many cases, lack of sleep is caused by sleep apnoea, a common condition that occurs when the walls of the throat close together and block off the airway while you sleep. Sleep apnoea is far more common in males than in females. It is generally thought that around 9% of women and 25% of men in Australia suffer from the condition. Dr Chan of MyDental Care in Meadowbank has a special interest in sleep apnoea and has successfully treated hundreds of sleep apnoea patients in Sydney. Patients of Dr Chan receive a comprehensive screening assessment to diagnose sleep apnoea and a treatment plan to help patients get a full night’s sleep and improve their overall quality of life.

Sleep deprivation has been linked to a series of serious health problems

We all know that waking up more tired than when you went to bed can make you feel grumpy and groggy. But what you might not know is that lack of sleep can lead to a range of more serious complications, affecting your physical and mental health. In many cases, lack of sleep is caused by sleep apnoea, a common condition that occurs when the walls of the throat close together and block off the airway while you sleep. Sleep apnoea is far more common in males than in females, and it is thought that around 35% of Australians suffer from the condition. Dr Chan of MyDental Care in Meadowbank has a special interest in sleep apnoea and has successfully treated hundreds of sleep apnoea patients in Sydney. Patients of Dr Chan receive a comprehensive screening assessment to diagnose sleep apnoea and a treatment plan to help patients get a full night’s sleep and improve their overall quality of life.

What is sleep apnoea?

Sleep apnoea is the condition where, while you sleep, the walls of your throat come together and close off the air passage, and breathing will usually stop for a few seconds, though this can last up to a minute. The brain registers the lack of oxygen and sends a jolt to wake you up, which is generally in the form of a snort or gasp, and then you will likely drift back to sleep again. When this happens more than thirty times per hour, you will suffer from severe sleep deprivation as you never enter the deeper and regenerative levels of sleep. The important thing to remember is that you might not even realise you are suffering from sleep apnoea; which is why if you are suffering from any of the following symptoms, you should visit Dr Chan for a complete assessment to determine if you are suffering from sleep apnoea.

  • Fatigue or daytime sleepiness
  • Dry mouth or throat upon waking
  • Snoring
  • Irritability or mood changes
  • Poor concentration
  • Inhibited problem solving skills

Lack of sleep can affect your memory

Have you found that you become forgetful when you’re tired? That’s because researchers have determined that ‘sharp wave ripples’ in the neocortex of the brain, where long-term memories are stored, are only regenerated during the deepest stages of sleep. If you suffer from sleep apnoea, your sleep could be interrupted up to thirty times per hour, which means that you can never reach the deeper and more revitalising levels of sleep.

Insufficient sleep can cause weight gain

According to a study in 2004, people who get less than six hours of sleep a night were almost 30 percent more likely to become obese than those who sleep seven to nine hours a night. You may be in bed for up to nine hours a night, however if this sleep is constantly interrupted, you are still suffering from sleep deprivation. And what you might find interesting is that lack of sleep not only stimulates appetite, it actually stimulates cravings for foods that are high in fat and carbohydrates. Sleep is instrumental in maintaining a healthy weight.

Sleep deprivation has been linked to an increased risk of the following health complications:

  • Heart disease
  • Heart attack
  • High blood pressure
  • Stroke
  • Diabetes

Sleepiness can be depressing

If not dealt with, sleep disorders can contribute to symptoms of depression. A study conducted in 2005 surveyed more than ten thousand people and found those who suffered from interrupted or severe lack of sleep were five times more likely to develop depression. Sleeping is extremely important in maintaining your mental health, and improving your sleep can even combat the symptoms of depression.

Dr Chan of MyDental Care is an experienced dentist in the field of sleep apnoea

If you are feeling tired or are struggling to concentrate during the day, it is vitally important you arrange a consultation to deal with the problem as soon as possible.

Contact us to arrange an appointment at our Meadowbank dental practice in Sydney.

About the Author

Dr Louis Chan

Dr Louis Chan has a special interest in holistic dentistry and is a certified provider of Myobrace, Insignia, Rapid Smiles and Invisalign.

You can connect with Dr Louis Chan on Google+, Facebook and Linked In

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