Insomnia is a harsh disorder that affects thousands of people every year. We all know that lack of sleep can create lots of problems such as grumpiness, lack of focus, difficulty concentrating and lack of productivity at work, school and home. There are, however, a lot of more disturbing things that can be caused by chronic sleep loss. Here are a few of the reasons why, if you suffer from insomnia, you should seek treatment from a qualified ENT doctor.
Lack of sleep is directly responsible for up to 100,000 automobile crashes and over 1,500 crash-related fatalities every year in the United States, especially in those who are under 25 years of age. Many studies also indicate that sleeplessness is a factor in job-related accidents.
Some of the largest disasters in the modern era were partially caused by sleep deprivation. The Three-Mile Island nuclear meltdown, the oil spill on the Exxon Valdez and the Chernobyl meltdown in Russia are all believed to have been partly caused by lack of sleep.
We need sleep to wipe our brain clear of the mental debris of the day, and refresh it for future running. Think of sleep as a sort of antivirus or anti-malware program in your brain. It updates and reboots your system for a fresh start daily.
Without sleep, your attention, concentration, alertness and reasoning all suffer. You lose your ability to solve problems and learn. You also have a harder time retaining memories from the day. In effect, chronic insomnia can make you less intelligent.
Severe Health Risks
Lack of sleep can put you at far more serious risk for health conditions. Indeed, it is estimated that up to 90 percent of those who suffer from insomnia also have other health issues. These can include heart disease, high blood pressure, stroke, diabetes, depression and other cardiovascular and mental health issues.
Reduced Sex Drive
Those who don’t get enough sleep on a regular basis often suffer reduced libido and less of an interest in sex. This is direct relation to the lessened energy, tiredness and heightened stress that result from sleep deprivation. Lack of restful sleep can also result in reduced testosterone levels in men, according to a 2002 study.
Have you ever noticed the bags under the eyes of those who didn’t get enough sleep? That’s because loss of sleep results in premature aging of the skin and other body processes. Increased stress levels from loss of sleep results in the overproduction of cortisol, a hormone that in high doses can break down the collagen that is responsible for keeping your skin elastic and smooth.
In addition, sleep deprivation causes you to produce less human growth hormone, a chemical that not only helps us grow when we’re young, but helps us build muscle mass and strengthen skin and bones as adults.
Are you in the Atlanta area and suffering from insomnia? Take a look at our informational page on the subject and give us a call today for a consultation.