The National Sleep Foundation estimates that at least 40 million people in America suffer from sleep disorders, and 60 percent of adults have sleepless nights at least a few times every week.
More than 40 percent of adults experience daytime exhaustion that interferes with daily activities at least a few days per month, with half of those adults reporting these problems with daytime tiredness a few days each week or more. Additionally, 69 percent of American children experience some form of sleep disturbance at least a few nights every week.
Out of these 40 million people with sleep issues, most of them let their issues go undiagnosed or untreated. At Dr. James Stewart’s dental office in Livonia, Michigan, we want you to understand how important sleep is for your health so that you will no longer leave your symptoms untreated.
How Sleep Disorders Can Hurt Your Health
A lack of sleep can impact different aspects of your life, from your interactions with others, to your job performance, to your safety. According to Harvard Health News, a lack of sleep can impact:
- Brain function: Sleeping properly helps you learn and remember new information through a process called “memory consolidation.” Studies have shown that people can do better on tests when they sleep after learning new information.
- Metabolism: A lack of sleep can affect your hormone levels and the way that your body processes and stores carbohydrates, which can lead to weight gain.
- Safety: Sleep deprivation can lead to daytime lethargy and even daytime sleep, which in turn leads to accidents, as well as other repercussions. Medical errors, traffic accidents, and harm to others and yourself can occur because of a lack of sleep.
- Mood: As you’re probably aware, sleep issues can lead to irritability, impatience, concentration problems, and overall moodiness. A bad mood is detectable by everyone you come in contact with, including coworkers, superiors, etc.
- Heart health: Severe sleep disorders, like sleep apnea, are linked to hypertension (high blood pressure), an increased level of stress hormones, and arrhythmia (irregular heartbeat).
- Immunities: Sleep loss impacts your immune system, including the functions of your white blood cells. The amount of sleep you get could also affect your ability to fight cancer.