Sleep loss or sleep deprivation happens when you don't get enough sleep or your sleep quality is poor. Lack of sleep can cause impaired judgment, exhaustion, and sleepiness among many others.
Inability to concentrate
Reduced sex drive
What Causes Sleep Deprivation
Sleep deprivation isn't a disease, but it can lead to various health issues. There are various reasons why a person isn't getting adequate sleep.
Personal choice. Some people stay up to socialize, watch TV, or read.
Environment. Having noisy neighbors or a partner who’s snoring excessively can also cause you to lose sleep.
Other Factors. Some don’t get quality sleep at night or have inconsistent sleep schedules due to work or family situations. Those working the night shift and parents taking care of babies or toddlers can also experience sleep loss.
Illnesses. People dealing with chronic pain, depression, heart diseases, and other medical conditions can also lack sleep.
Sleep disorders. Sleep apnea occurs when the tissues in your throat over-relax and block the airway. The air struggles to get out and the pressure results in vibrations or snoring. When the passageway becomes completely blocked, your brain wakes you up so you can breathe normally again. However, these episodes keep you from falling into a deep sleep. Even with a 7 or 8-hour sleep, you’ll still feel sleepy in the morning.
Long Term Effects of Sleep Loss
Like kids, adults can also get cranky with insufficient sleep. Sleep loss can take a toll on your physical, emotional, and mental health. It can impact your daily life and relationships.
Poor memory. Without enough sleep, processing and storing new information can be more difficult.
Poor concentration. Lack of sleep also weakens concentration and problem-solving skills.
Increased risk for accidents. Poor sleep can impair your judgment and decision-making skills. This can increase your risk of getting involved in accidents.
Weakened immune system. Your immune system or ability to fight off infections is also compromised when you don’t get proper sleep.
Irritability. Sleep loss can make you ill-tempered or moody.
Weight gain. Your brain may have trouble telling you that you’re already full. This can cause you to overeat.
Relationship issues. When you’re constantly exhausted, it can be harder to communicate or remain patient.
Decreased work performance. When you’re losing sleep, your productivity is also affected. This can also impact the way you’re dealing with clients and customers, as you struggle to respond positively.
Treating Sleep Apnea
Sleep apnea is a serious condition but there are treatment options to help you manage its symptoms and get better sleep.
If you’re experiencing sleep apnea symptoms, see your doctor immediately. One common method for diagnosing sleep apnea is undergoing a sleep study. Your sleep, along with other factors such as heart rate and airflow, will be monitored.
A well-known treatment for sleep apnea is Continuous Positive Airway Pressure or CPAP. You wear a mask over your nose and mouth, and the CPAP device will deliver air to your airway to help keep it open as you sleep. CPAP must be used as directed by your doctor.
If your sleep apnea is caused by misaligned jaw, our Lethbridge dentist, Dr. Lachman can work with you in customizing a dental appliance. This device is worn like a sports mouthguard and helps keep the airway open. It keeps the lower jaw in a forward position and prevents the tongue from over-relaxing and blocking the airflow.
Oral Appliance for Sleep Apnea in Lethbridge area
If you would like to learn more about possible dental treatment options for sleep apnea or are not comfortable with using a CPAP device, you’re welcome to visit our dental office in Lethbridge. Let’s help you regain full night sleep and prevent potential health issues.