We need time to shut our minds off so that we can function at our best the next day, so we sleep. People with insomnia miss out on good shut-eye hours, and it affects them in the long run.
When your life is stress filled it can leave you restless at night! Not getting enough sleep can make your day less than productive; you’ll have trouble paying attention, and you may not be in the best of moods.
Treating insomnia should be a priority because a consistent lack of sleep is going to cause more than a groggy day at work. Insomnia can affect your mental and physical well-being; here’s how.
1. It’s More Than Brain Fog
When your mind is constantly running and not given time to rest, it can negatively impact your brain function. Without the time to process what you’ve learned throughout the day, your brain gets tired.
You might not experience it if you’re battling chronic insomnia, but you can notice that your performance isn’t up to scratch. You might not be as enthusiastic about carrying out your tasks or find you’re making many mistakes.
2. Mood Changes
When you don’t get enough sleep, you already wake up on the wrong side of the bed, but when it happens, often your mood changes, and you can be quite a force to reckon with. Simple things might set you off.
When you stay awake for too long, your brain will force itself to take a nap; these naps last for short periods and can happen instantly without your knowledge. This is why it’s so dangerous to drive when you’re tired.
Doctors experience microsleeps after working shifts that can be longer than 24 hours. When they get into their cars to drive home, they don’t even realize they’ve fallen asleep and wake up in the hospital.
It’s extremely dangerous to drive or operate heavy machinery when you’re tired, even when you take medication that makes you drowsy. Being so tired to the point where you take microsleeps makes it more dangerous for you to drive or work with machines!
4. Puts Your Mental Health At Risk
When you stay up long enough, you can start to hallucinate; this means seeing and even hearing things that aren’t real. It can make you paranoid and put you at risk of harming yourself or others.
If you have bipolar disorder, it can trigger an episode of mania and make you impulsive. If you suffer from anxiety or depression, the lack of sleep can make the symptoms of your mental illness worse.
5. Stress On Your Body
Without sleep, you’re basically living in a fight-or-flight mode, so your hormone levels will be high for a long time. This puts stress on your body, which can affect your organs and even weaken your immune system.
If you get sick, it can take longer to get better because your immune system is not functioning at its best. You can also develop diseases like insulin resistance and suffer from high blood sugar levels and chronic heart conditions.
6. Fertility And Sexual Function
In the long run, your fertility and libido might suffer because of how the stress to keep you functional is affecting you. You could have difficulty getting pregnant or just lose interest in sex completely.
7. Shortens Your Life Expectancy
Research has shown that people who get at least seven hours of sleep every night live longer than those who have insomnia. This could be because you’re more likely to put yourself in danger when you’re exhausted and can’t think clearly.
8. Muscle Tenderness
When you suffer from insomnia, you’re not going to lay in your bed peacefully all night, so you might sit up and do things to keep yourself busy. Maybe you’ll read a book, maybe scroll through social media; it keeps your mind occupied.
But the next day, you can find your muscles tender, and you may have difficulty moving swiftly because of the pain. This is because your muscles don’t have time to rest, so they’re in pain from constantly moving.
The stress of not sleeping can cause tremors in your hand, which can be exacerbated by coffee. It can make it difficult to hold things steady and even increase the likelihood of accidents!
If you feel that your insomnia is affecting your health, you may benefit from speaking to your doctor. They can help you plan out a healthy sleep routine and prescribe you medication if you need extra help.
Dr Saadiqah Hajat