Lack of sleep isn’t just making you tired. It affects every part of your life, such as your mood, productivity, memory, and your overall health, and can even put you at a higher risk of car accidents. Dr. Richard Van Gurp at Carolina Sleep Solutions in Charlotte, NC offers sleep apnea and sleep disorder treatments so you can sleep better and improve your health. Learn 5 things that can happen when you’re sleep deprived.
1. You’re More Likely to Get in a Car Accident
Studies have shown that driving while sleep deprived and driving drunk are similarly dangerous. A lack of sleep makes it easier to fall asleep at the wheel and reduces your reflex time, making it harder to react to sudden changes in the roadway. 1 in 25 adults fall asleep while driving every month — it’s more common than you’d think.
2. You’re At A 50% Higher Risk for Obesity
Sleep deprivation is linked to a 50% higher risk for obesity because it increases hunger hormone levels. Not getting a good night’s sleep also increases cravings for salty, sweet, or starchy food as the body is craving quick energy in these foods. It also increases levels of the stress hormone cortisol, which is linked to heart disease, high blood pressure, and other health problems. Getting better sleep can save your life.
3. Lower Ability to Fight Infection
The immune system has fewer immune cells called “natural killer cells” available to help fight off infections when we don’t consistently get the recommended amount of sleep each night. This means we’re three times more likely to catch a cold and can’t fight off diseases as efficiently.
4. It’s Harder to Remember Things
A lack of sleep makes it harder to remember things and contributes to forgetfulness, fuzzy thinking, and increases the risk of dementia by 33%. Sleep is essential to help rejuvenate the body so we can function at our best, as it allows the body to rest and replenish the cells and molecules we need to live our lives. Chronic sleep deprivation makes us less alert, more forgetful, and more irritable.
5. It Negatively Affects Your Mood
In addition to the negative health effects, sleep deprivation increases depression, anxiety, and irritability and makes it harder to manage emotions. Being tired makes us cranky, and combined with the heightened cravings for sweet and salty junk food, we’re set up for a bad day. While some people may not develop a true anxiety disorder or depression, others may require antidepressants or other treatments for mood disorders.
Free Sleep Apnea Screening in Charlotte NC
Dr. Van Gurp offers sophisticated oral appliances to help patients deal with OSA so they have restful, refreshing sleep. Contact us today about your complimentary sleep screening!