7 July 2018

9 Big Life Issues Caused By Poor Sleep & How You Can Fix Your Sleep


Sleep is a fact of life that most of us Australians take for granted. Our ignorance of just how sleep can affect every facet of our lives causes us to neglect our sleep at the altar of our work, social life, priorities, and ultimately, our long-term health.

Poor sleep can have many effects - bad mood, fatigue, lack of focus, not working effectively, constantly feeling sleepy, poor libido and so many more health and social issues. Long-term sleep deprivation can have major consequences on your overall health. Research has shown that poor sleep is linked to obesity, diabetes and heart disease (among other conditions). A solid night's sleep is essential for a healthy life.

What are the big health issues caused by poor sleep?

Poor sleeping patterns over a prolonged period of time can result in many serious health issues. Here are 9 of them:
  • Brain fog - this will make it hard for you to concentrate even on simple tasks
  • Falling asleep during the day - it can be dangerous if operating machines or driving
  • Feeling drowsy - it is very important to stress this effect on you, especially if driving
  • Diminished cognitive ability - sleep plays a very important role in thinking and learning. With the lack of sleep, these functions can be altered
  • Lower libido - lack of sleep affects libido due to lack of energy, tension and sleepiness
  • Depression - depression "feeds" off of lack of sleep. It can even aggrevate sympotoms of depression
  • Early ageing - lack of sleep can age your skin (dark circles, saggy skin and fine lines). This is caused by the hormone cortisol (stress hormone) which is released when there is a sleep deprivation. Cortisol breaks down collagen (protein which makes skin elastic and smooth)
  • Effects on cardiovascular system - sleep affects processes which keep heart and blood vessels healthy. It also affects body's ability to heal and repair these organs
  • Hallucinations - in sever cases of insomnia, hallucinations can occur (seeing things that are not there)

What can you do to improve your poor sleep patterns?

Fixing your sleep patterns can be hard to do for many of us. Your current sleep patterns are the result of many, many years of your brain and body being conditioned to react and adapt in a certain way. You need your brain and your body to unlearn many of these habits in order to develop new, healthy patterns that will benefit your long-term health. Although this can be a difficult process, it is not impossible and if you value your longevity and quality of life, the fruits of trying and succeeding may just be worth the trouble.

Try these 3 powerful techniques to fix your sleep patterns and improve your long-term health:
  • Maximise sleep drive - it is low in the morning and it increases during the day. It is easiest to fall asleep when your sleep drive is high (when you feel the most sleepy). Go to bed only when sleepy. Have in mind that naps during the days will affect your bed time hours at night. It is helpful to stick with the same "waking up" and "going to sleep" patterns every day (even on the weekends), to help keep the consistency.
  • Exercise - physical activity and exercise can help improve the sleep patterns.
  • Minimise disruptions - minimise any type of internal or external disruptions in the evenings. Try to reduce the time with the TV, computer, phone etc. External stimuli will disrupt the processes which affect the sleep patterns. Avoid caffeinated drinks, nicotine and alcohol before bedtime since these will affect the sleep pattern since they act as stimulants.
  • Calm your mind - try to relax before going to bed. Relaxing background music and feeling "cosy" will help de-stress from the day. Turn your thoughts to relaxing things and introduce meditation into your regular schedule.
If you have tried many of these techniques to fix your sleep patterns or if you believe these techniques have not worked for you before, talk to our caring dentists about other options that may be more suitable to your exact situation by calling us on (03) 9459 6300. Visit our sleep apnoea help page to understand whether you too might suffer from sleep apnoea. If you prefer to consult our dentists straight away, you can book an appointment by calling us on (03) 9459 6300 or by booking an appointment online now:

Or you can book an appointment by calling us on (03) 9459 6300 during business hours

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