Sleep disorders: how they affect health
Anxiety and stress have become a public health problem in Western societies. The furiously-paced lifestyle, difficulty to balance family and work life or the lack of physical exercise and correct diet are among the causes that can contribute to sleep disorders.
The current pace of life, family demands, competitiveness and certain personal and family expectations that, many times, are unrealistic, end up generating a continuous state of anxiety and nervousness that can easily lead to a series of serious mental and physical disorders.
Suffering chronic stress can lead to very serious consequences for your health. This occurs with prolonged states of nervousness and alertness in the body, even in the absence of threats. It causes changes in blood pressure, skin or heartbeat rhythm.
One of the symptoms or, perhaps, one of the consequences of chronic stress are sleep disorders. In addition, this condition can become a vicious cycle, since the nervousness makes one unable to rest properly and not sleeping generates added stress.
What are sleep disorders?
By sleep disorders, we mean all problems related to sleeping, such as difficulties falling asleep, waking up repeatedly throughout the night, falling asleep at inopportune times, involuntarily falling asleep, sleeping too much, as well as any other abnormal characteristic in relation to sleep.
We can distinguish four types:
Related to the inability or difficulty to fall asleep and stay asleep.
Problems having to do with excessive lethargy during the day that make it difficult to do life’s daily activities.
Difficulty to remain asleep or to follow a regular sleep schedule.
There are other types of abnormal behaviors or conducts that interrupt rest, such as sleep apnea, narcolepsy or sleep walking, which less related to stress and anxiety.
The causes of sleep disorders are varied and can be due to physical problems such as certain diseases, or to psychological problems such as depression.
Consequences of lack of sleep
Lack of sleep and rest, associated with states of nervousness, anxiety, stress or depression, may give rise to chronic diseases and serious consequences for health, related to obesity, diabetes, heart problems or, in women, menstruation disorders.
States of exhaustion can also be the cause that provokes psychological illnesses. For this, it is important to learn to relax and acquire good sleeping, diet, physical exercise and healthy lifestyle habits. Some practices such as yoga, meditation, tai chi or chi kung can help, and contribute to obtaining more focused mental states.
It is also important to abstain from looking at the phone, the computer or other screens prior to going to bed and to do breathing exercises before bedtime or even when already in bed.
At SHA Wellness Clinic, our staff will help you to recover a refreshing sleep, through its Sleep Recovery Program.