Why do we sleep at night? Sleep is a regular period of time within every 24 hours when we are unconscious and we aren’t aware of our surroundings. Humans usually sleep a single period at night. It provides important rest and restoration of the spirit and the body. However, the brain is very active during certain phases of sleep.
Progress in science and technology now allows us a detailed study of sleep as never before. In addition to recording the more obvious consequences of poor sleep, scientists are increasingly studying sleeping events at neurological and psychosocial levels. They find that it is more useful than previously assumed and that it is undoubtedly essential to enhance the health and functioning of the body.
Unfortunately, today’s sleeping is sometimes neglected, as it has to be subordinated to our busy schedule and lifestyle. Millions of people suffer from chronic sleep disorders or transient or occasional sleep problems every year.
It is estimated that the cost of medical services associated with this disorder is $16 billion only in the US since this disorder has a disruptive impact on human work, driving skills, and social activities. Among the most common disorders are insomnia, restless legs syndrome, sleep apnea, narcolepsy, and parasomnia.
Let’s see why do we even sleep, why is it important for staying healthy and which are sleeping disorders that can affect yours and partners life.
Why is sleep important?
Although we usually look at sleep as a rest period and time to recover from everyday life activities, research reveals more. It is a dynamic activity during which many processes take place which are indispensable for health and well-being.
Reasons why sleep is important
We must sleep because this is inevitably necessary to maintain the normal levels of cognitive skills, such as speech, memory, innovative and positive thinking.
The data show that it is also important for balancing the mood and plays a key role in the normal functioning of the endocrine and immune system.
Poor sleep and health problems
In fact, research shows an ever-closer connection between poor sleep and a whole range of serious health problems, including obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, and depression. Therefore, there is no over-claim that some of the most dangerous health problems that we face as a society may be related to poor sleep.
Sleep disorders statistics
Drivers who have sleep deprivation are likely to cause more than 100.000 accidents every year, 71.000 injuries, and more than 1.500 deaths. In addition, it is estimated that sleep disorders cost Americans over $100 billion annually due to reduced productivity, health costs, sick leave, and actual and environmental damage. We all know how badly we feel after a bad night, right?
Sleep quality percentage
Despite the fact that at least 40 million Americans report sleeping problems, more than 60% of adults weren’t asked about the quality of their sleep by the doctor. Less than 20% of patients told to the doctor.
How sleep deprivation affects your health?
The lack of sleep doesn’t only affect the cognitive functions but also the emotional and physical health. According to research, sleep deprivation also increases the risk of obesity. Chemical substances and hormones secrete during this night activity and they play a key role in controlling the appetite and weight gain.
How does lack of sleep affect productivity?
The fact is that it adversely affects awareness and motor productivity. A study has shown that people who were continuously awake for 19 hours achieved significantly poorer results in productivity tests and alertness than those who were stunned by alcohol under legal criteria.
Common sleep disorders in adults
Sleep disorders are a group of health problems that make us harder to sleep or sleep less. They usually have a psychological or psychiatric cause. These problems are different from sleep problems which aren’t a health problem. Each type of disorder should be supervised by a personal doctor, psychiatrist, or psychologist.
Insomnia is a situation when you can’t sleep well. It is a psychological disorder, in which the length of sleep never exceeds 1-2 hours in one night. It is a serial condition that should be treated.
A person with this condition isn’t breathing during sleep for at least 10 seconds. It is common in overweight people.
How do you know if someone has sleep apnea?
When breathing stops, the muscles around the throat release and prevent the passage of air to the lungs. A person with apnea doesn’t realize these interruptions, but he still feels their influence. When he stops breathing, he goes from REM sleep to non-REM sleep. The result is tiredness in the morning.
Why does sleep apnea cause tiredness?
Snoring is a result of brain defense, so you could normally breathe again. This can also occur 10x per hour, so it’s not surprising that people with this sleeping disorder and their partners can be very tired during the day.
Narcolepsy occurs because the brain can’t adjust the sleep rhythm. A person with narcolepsy can suddenly fall asleep, even if it is in the middle of a meeting or driving. Usually, REM sleep occurs immediately after narcolepsy.
Narcolepsy with cataplexy
Narcolepsy is often associated with a disease called cataplexy in which the muscles suddenly relax and weaken so they can no longer support the body. This is most common in people with cataplexy when they feel strong emotions, such as crying and laughter.
How rare is narcolepsy with cataplexy?
Narcolepsy is relatively rare. Approximately one person from 2.000 people has it.
Delayed sleep phase syndrome (DSPS)
This syndrome occurs when the person has difficulties to fall asleep in the night, and have difficulty getting up before noon. Although a delayed sleep phase syndrome can affect anyone, it is most common in teenagers and disappears over the years.
Doctors call it somnambulism and it means that a person is performing normal daily activities in a state of unconsciousness. A sleepwalking person may just walk out of the bed or in worst cases do dangerous activities as drive a car.
Children sleepwalking as the most common
These activities last differently, from about half a minute to half an hour or more. Such a person usually doesn’t recall his night activities. Sleepwalking is most common in children and can be a sign of lack of sleep. Data show that approximately 15% of people have it at least once in their lifetime.
Overcome your sleeping problems
Why do we sleep at night? It is vital to your health and living a quality life. If you suspect any of the mentioned sleep disorders, go to your doctor and discuss your problem. They shouldn’t be neglected because each of them can have serious consequences for your health.
Don’t suffer, go to your doctor and he will work with you to solve the problem. Remember, your issue affects on your partner and family as well, so don’t neglect it and act now.