how sleep loss affects your life

How Sleep Loss Affects Your Life

how sleep loss affects your lifeSummerlin, Las Vegas, and Henderson Nevada

It is no surprise to us all that our bodies need sleep. We just simply cannot function without it. An occasional late night may be nothing to worry about, but getting inadequate amounts of sleep on a regular basis can take a toll on your physical and mental health.

What causes sleep loss?

We all experience stressful events in our lives that result in lost sleep, but for some, a lack of sleep is due to an untreated sleep breathing disorder. One of the most well known sleep breathing disorders is obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), which occurs when the throat and airway become blocked or restricted, depriving your body and brain of oxygen. When the airway becomes blocked, this rouses a person from sleep as the brain signals the body that it is not receiving enough oxygen. The result is a lack of deep sleep, which can have severe long-term health consequences.

The way that our bodies are naturally designed, we NEED oxygen! We have 20-30 trillion red blood cells in our body, and every single one of those cells requires oxygen to produce energy. Without proper amounts of oxygen, our bodies, tissue, cells, brain, and organs will eventually starve!

Health risks of OSA

Sleep loss can have an impact on every aspect of your life.

It poses both short and long-term health consequences, including:

  • Trouble focusing
  • Cognitive decline
  • Memory problems
  • Moodiness or irritability
  • Chronic fatigue
  • Poor judgment
  • Depression
  • Lack of intimacy (loss of libido)
  • Weight gain
  • Poor performance at work, school, or athletics
  • Decline in physical health
  • Compromised immune system

You may not even realize you suffer from chronic sleep loss due to OSA, but if you experience any of the symptoms mentioned above, consider an evaluation with Las Vegas area sleep apnea dentist, Dr. Matthew Wilson.

The devastating consequences of sleep loss

Sleep loss means much more than feeling chronically fatigued.

It has long-term health consequences that can affect your health and your life, including:

  • Obesity
  • Stroke
  • Heart attack
  • Diabetes
  • Hypertension
  • Depression

Not to mention, you are at a higher risk of being involved in an accident due to chronic fatigue. According to one study conducted by Harvard Medical School, even one night of sleep loss is enough to cause elevated blood pressure the next day. Now, amplify that by night after night of inadequate sleep due to OSA!

Sleep loss affects your loved ones

Many sleep loss sufferers may believe it only affects them, but exactly the opposite of that is true. It affects everyone else in your life as well, including those that you love the most. Since sleep loss affects behavior, it can certainly impact relationships with loved ones, co-workers, and others around you.

Also, since snoring is one of the primary symptoms of sleep apnea, it often affects your partner’s quality of life as well. Loud snoring can keep them up at night, affecting their sleep and increasing their risks of chronic sleep loss. When you have sleep apnea, you are not the only one that suffers.

Drowsy driving vs. drunk driving, which is worse?

Recent studies have shown that drowsy driving is as dangerous as driving drunk! How so? When you are fatigued, it can be difficult to stay awake and pay attention to the road. A new study conducted by AAA found that drowsy drivers are nearly five times more likely to be involved in an accident if they only get between 5-6 hours of sleep, and 12 times more likely to cause an accident if getting less than 4 hours of sleep each night.

I get 8 hours of sleep each night, why am I still tired?

With OSA, although you may think you are getting enough sleep, the brain is constantly waking up from the REM stage of the sleep cycle, which is the deep stage of sleep that results in rest and rejuvenation. These episodes can occur as many as a few times to a hundred times or more per hour! That means you would not be getting much sleep at all, increasing your risk of causing an accident. Plus, if you operate machinery on the job, your risk of an accident continues long after you step foot out of your vehicle.

Get help with your sleep loss

The consequences of sleep loss are too severe to ignore, and at Inspire Dental of Summerlin, we can diagnose and treat your sleep apnea so that you can get your life back and live the life that you deserve. Plus, you will be protecting your health against the consequences of chronic sleep loss.

Sleep Apnea Treatment in Summerlin

If you snore or experience sleep loss, contact our office by calling (702) 331-4700 to schedule a consultation.

Inspire Dental of Summerlin is proud to care for patients in the areas of Henderson, Las Vegas, and Summerlin, Nevada.