Sleep Disorders: Sleeping enough is probably far from a priority of your hyper-occupied life. Yet the consequences of sleep deprivation on health are real and many.
1. Your brain no longer works well
According to the American Center for Disease Control (CDC), sleep deprivation is a public health problem, with more than a third of the population sleeping less than eight hours a night. When you do not get enough sleep, whether it’s because of a chronic problem of apnea, your lifestyle, or your bad habit of spending time on Facebook before sleeping, your brain capabilities are not working as well.
“Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) shows that lack of sleep reduces blood flow in areas of the brain that govern the highest levels of the cognitive process,” says Richard Shane, Sleep Behavior Specialist, and founder of the Sleep Easily method. This disrupts your ability to solve problems, slows down your cognitive abilities, and reduces your potential for reflection and logical reasoning. “Your head needs time to rest and regenerate.” A study found that chronic insomniacs had a brain Less dense and less voluminous than people who slept well.
2. You forget everything
Another effect of sleep deprivation: your memory beats the wing. “Lack of sleep affects your concentration and learning abilities, essential to remembering something,” says Dr. Shane. Research shows that sleep enhances nerve connections that are responsible for memory and helps to anchor new information.
According to Michael Breus, a psychologist known in the United States as the Sleep Doctor, it is paradoxical sleep (characterized by rapid movements of the eyes – REM) that strengthens your memory, hence the importance of having enough. “Paradoxical sleep is the moment you move the information that is in your short-term memory to your long-term memory,” he says. If you do not get enough sleep, you lack REM sleep and it disturbs your memory.
3. You are irritable
You’ve probably noticed that “you get up on the wrong foot” when you have not slept enough. “Sleep deprivation affects our mood,” says Michael Breus. It contributes to giving us a negative perception of everything that happens to us because our emotions are much more unstable. “Although it is not clear why Richard Shane says that lack of sleep prevents our brain from functioning well at another level. Reasoning, and logic, normally serve to temper the amygdala, the area of the brain that manages emotions such as fear, anxiety, Aggression, and sexual arousal, he said. But the MRI of the brain shows that the connections between these two brain centers weaken when people lack sleep, which causes an increase in reactions of fear and anger.”
4. You are more likely to depress
Depression is another mood disorder associated with a lack of sleep. “Although the cerebral mechanisms of this phenomenon are not known, a large study has found that people who suffer from chronic insomnia were ten times more likely to develop depression,” says Richard Shane. Sleep apnea, a respiratory problem that manifests itself during sleep, is also related to depression – a study showed that people with depression were five times more likely to have this problem. As a lack of sleep and depression are really related, it is difficult to decide which has caused the other. Specialists suggest keeping a diary of your nights to help your doctor to make a diagnosis and the best treatment.