About My Health Careers Internship MedBlogs Contact us

Why Disturbed Sleep Affects More Than Your Alertness?

by Adeline Dorcas on June 26, 2019 at 2:53 PM
Font : A-A+

Why Disturbed Sleep Affects More Than Your Alertness?

Disturbed sleep can be detrimental to your overall health and wellbeing. So, make sure to catch some zzz's without any interruption to stay healthy and active throughout the day.

Don't take a good night's sleep for granted. It's more important for your overall health than you may think.


Sleepiness throughout the day after minimal shut-eye isn't the only possible consequence. Other problems may include those that affect your immune system, thought process and cardiovascular health.

What is Interrupted Sleep?

It's recommended that adults and the elderly get 7 to 9 hours of sleep. Waking up once or twice briefly during the night is normal. But interrupted sleep is when you wake up for prolonged periods at least four times over the course of about eight hours. There are four sleep stages your body goes through during the night: non-REM (rapid eye movement) sleep (stages 1 to 3) and then REM sleep, which is associated with dreaming.

When a sleep stage is interrupted, your body essentially has to reset and start going through the stages all over again, which could prevent you from getting deep, restorative sleep.

Side Effects

In addition to daytime sleepiness, missing or interrupted sleep can cause: irritability, decreased creativity, increased stress, decreased accuracy, tremors, aches, and memory lapses or loss. It can even cause symptoms similar to ADHD and contribute to increased heart rate variability and risk of heart disease and stroke.

Less than ideal sleep also can lead to an impaired immune system, says Amit Narula, D.O., medical director of the Sleep Disorders Center at Carroll Hospital. When you lack sleep, your body makes fewer cytokines, a protein that helps fight inflammation and infection.

"It's easier to get an infection, and it could be harder or take longer to get rid of an infection," Narula says.

How to Get Better Sleep?

One of the main things you can do to improve the quality of your sleep is to avoid alcohol and nicotine, and food and drinks in general, as it gets closer to bedtime. You should also keep a sleep diary to track your habits and patterns so you can share them with your doctor.

Narula also suggests things like:
  • Keeping your bedroom dark and cool
  • Limiting time in bed to sleep and sex
  • Sticking to a consistent sleep schedule
  • Avoiding the use of light-emitting screens (television, phone, etc.) before sleep
  • Using comfortable bedding
  • Keeping pets out of the bedroom
  • Not wearing tight clothes to bed

Another tip: Write down the next day's to-do list, so you're not constantly thinking about what you have to do when it's time to call it a night.

It's generally recommended that teens get 8 to 10 hours of sleep and younger school-age children get about 9 to 11 hours of sleep. But adults shouldn't assume that regularly sleeping for more than nine hours is good rest because it may be a sign of an underlying problem.

"Recent studies have indicated that more than nine hours of sleep in some individuals have been associated with diabetes, heart disease, and depression," Narula says.

When to Seek Treatment?

If you're experiencing daytime sleepiness, you may have a sleeping disorder and should see a doctor about it as soon as possible.

The good news is that most sleep disorders are highly treatable. A sleep doctor can determine the cause and severity of your sleep problem as well as treatments and therapies for better sleep. Sleep studies are conducted to diagnose or rule out problems such as sleep apnea, periodic limb movement disorder, narcolepsy, restless leg syndrome, and insomnia. They also help evaluate nighttime behaviors such as sleepwalking and REM sleep behavior disorder.

Quality sleep is good not only for your mind, but all of your organs. It's also a time for healing. A number of studies have determined that quality sleep leads to longer, healthier lives.

Source: Newswise

News A-Z
News Category
What's New on Medindia
Ten Fruits for Diabetics
Natural Supplements Help Reverse Hair Loss during Menopause
Ways to Manage Stress during COVID-19 Pandemic
View all

Medindia Newsletters Subscribe to our Free Newsletters!
Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.

More News on:
Sudden Infant Death Syndrome / Cot Death Snoring Sleep Disorder : Restless Legs Syndrome Sleep Disorder: Sleepwalking Periodic Limb Movement Disorder REM Behavior Disorder Sleep Disturbances In Women Sleep Insomnia Obstructive Sleep Apnea 

Recommended Reading
Sleep Disturbances In Women
The physical, emotional and hormonal changes that occur in women during puberty, menstrual cycle, .....
Sleep Disorder
Sleep disorders can either be having difficulty in getting sleep or dozing off at inappropriate ......
Insomnia Symptom Evaluation
Insomnia may be due to physiological, psychological, physical or environmental factors. Insomnia ......
Ageing and Sleep
Sleep is a barometer of good health in the elderly. Sleep problems in the elderly are controlled by ...
Difficulty in initiating and maintaining sleep is known as insomnia. It is a symptom that occurs due...
Obstructive Sleep Apnea
Obstructive sleep apnea should be suspected in overweight middle aged adults who snore loudly and w...
Periodic Limb Movement Disorder
Periodic limb movement disorder (PLMD) is a sleep disorder which causes repetitive cramping or jerki...
REM Behavior Disorder
REM Behavior Disorder (RBD) is a sleep disorder in which the person acts out dramatic or violent dre...
Sleep Disorder : Restless Legs Syndrome
Restless legs syndrome (RLS) causes - An urge to move, usually due to uncomfortable sensations that...
Sleep Disorder: Sleepwalking
Sleepwalking or “Somnambulism,” is a type of parasomnia and has medico-legal implications...
Turbulent airflow causes tissues of the nose and throat to vibrate and the noise produced by these v...
Sudden Infant Death Syndrome / Cot Death
Sudden Infant Death Syndrome is death of a baby, under one year of age that occurs in sleep and cann...

Disclaimer - All information and content on this site are for information and educational purposes only. The information should not be used for either diagnosis or treatment or both for any health related problem or disease. Always seek the advice of a qualified physician for medical diagnosis and treatment. Full Disclaimer

© All Rights Reserved 1997 - 2021

This site uses cookies to deliver our services. By using our site, you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Cookie Policy, Privacy Policy, and our Terms of Use