In 2020, people are thinking about their health now more than ever. At some point this year, you might have worried about the strength of your immune system and your ability to fight off infections and viruses, such as COVID-19. You can exercise, eat right, and take vitamins, but a cornerstone of good overall health with a strong immune system is making sure you get enough sleep.
Sleep loss has its consequences
We all experience a night of little to no sleep from time to time. According to the American Sleep Apnea Association, anywhere from 50 to 70 million Americans experience some sleep-related problems that make it difficult or impossible to get the proper amount of rest. These problems may include a hectic work schedule, a 24/7 lifestyle, or a medical condition such as a sleep breathing disorder.
After a night of inadequate sleep, you might feel groggy or have a diminished awareness of your surroundings. You might be forgetful the next day or have difficulty retaining new information.
Over time, living with sleep loss has a wide range of effects on your physical and mental well-being:
- Cognition – People who don’t get enough quality sleep on a nightly basis are more likely to struggle at work or in school. If you’ve been living with sleep loss long-term, it even could affect your cognitive function.
- Mood – Not getting proper sleep can make you more prone to depression or anxiety. In contrast, if you already suffer from either of these conditions, the symptoms may worsen. Sleep loss also can lead to heightened irritability or otherwise unexplainable mood swings.
- Weight Gain – Are you putting on pounds even while sticking to a strict diet and exercise regimen? Are you on a weight-loss regimen, being diligent about your lifestyle changes, and struggling to see results? Sleep loss could be the culprit. Getting proper, restful sleep is crucial to helping maintain the hormones that control appetite and weight loss.
- Love Life – “Not tonight, I’m too tired.” Do you find yourself saying this often to your significant other, or that your other half says it to you? Chronic fatigue can stem from sleep loss, which can lead to diminished libido or even impotence.
- Serious Illness – Long term, sleep loss raises your risk of several chronic, systemic ailments—including heart disease, stroke, hypertension, diabetes, and even certain types of cancer and Alzheimer’s.
What Causes Your Sleep Loss?
As mentioned, poor sleep can stem from a hectic lifestyle or work schedule. Maybe there is something off about the environment of your bedroom—such as too much light or noise. Sleep deprivation also can stem from a medical condition, such as sleep apnea or other sleep breathing disorders. If you’ve been living with the consequences of poor sleep, a dentist trained in airway management can help – a dentist like Dr. Jasmine Elmore at About Face Collaborative.
Dr. Elmore has dedicated her professional life to building an all-encompassing airway-centric dental practice as part of the goal of improving the overall health and wellness of each of her patients. Her comprehensive services can improve your sleep and alleviate some of the conditions that are caused by living with sleep loss such as headaches, fatigue, and snoring. To learn more, schedule a consultation today. Stop living with the consequences of sleep loss and risking your health in the process—especially during a pandemic. Schedule your consultation today at About Face Collaborative by calling us at (919) 213-6330. We welcome patients of Cary, Raleigh, and Durham.