Lack of sleep is sign of what?

Lack of sleep is signs of a sleep disorder. A sleep disorder (somnipathy) is any disruption in the sleep patterns of an individual. While some sleep disorders may leave you feeling unrefreshed, a number of symptoms are more severe including excessive sleepiness, snor¬ing, difficulty falling asleep during normal sleeping hours and abnormal be¬haviors such as restless leg syndrome. There are even disorders that cause you to get too much sleep. The most common sleep disorder is insomnia.

Since we are a mobile society with people traveling world wide, sleep has become a problem for everyone. Sleep disorders can also be caused by stress either at work or at home, clinical depression, uninviting sleeping area, too much light in the room, eating a heavy meal right before bedtime, drinking alcohol, drugs, muscle tension, too much caffeine, lumpy bed, pregnancy or any number of reasons. Insomnia can also be the symptom of a more serious medical problem. That is why most literature on this subject, recommends that if you suffer from insomnia for two or more weeks, you should see your family physician to see if some other medical problem isn’t going on.

Important hormone production is regulated during sleep; in children, human growth hormone (HGH) is released during deep sleep. Insufficient sleep can affect hormonal balance in adults as well. Getting enough deep sleep is important and they do know that people can go longer without food than without sleep. During sleep the subject’s sleep metabolic rate and energy consumption are reduced. The cardiovascular system also slows down during sleep as blood pressure drops as well. Basically, your body just shuts down to repair the damage done to it during the day.

To better understand this fairly common sleep disorder and the effects of insomnia on a person’s body, we must first learn about sleep and better understand why sleep is so necessary to a healthy life.

Sleep is the period of time when the body appears to repair the damage that has occurred during the awake periods. The study of sleep is relatively new and what sleep does for the body is not entirely understood but researchers do have many theories and they do know that people can go longer without food than without sleep. In studies with mice deprived of sleep versus mice deprived of food, the sleep deprived mice die faster.

Deprivation of sleep first affects the brain, so theories are that the brain needs to rest so as to recharge itself or reorganize data and needs to rid itself of waste products. Subjects kept awake for days begin to have hallucinations, are unable to concentrate, have problems forming memories, and develop other mental problems.

There are 5 stages of sleep. Stage 1 is a very light sleep when all body systems begin slowing down but the person can still be awoken easily. Stage 2 is a period where eye movement stops and brain waves begin to slow down. Stage 3 is when brain activity slows down even more and the slowest brain waves called delta waves sporadically appear. In stage 4, the brain waves are almost totally delta waves. Stages 3 and 4 are called deep sleep and it is difficult to wake a person during stage 4. Stage 5 is called REM sleep and during this stage everything changes. Breathing becomes rapid, there are rapid eye movements and this is when subjects dream. Researchers believe that quality sleep is when a person goes through four or five sleep cycles during a night.

During sleep, researchers have found that metabolic rates and energy consumption are reduced. The cardiovascular system also slows down during sleep as blood pressure drops as well as heart rate. Chemicals are replaced and muscles are restored and in children, growth hormones are released.

Sometimes insomnia is actually a symptom of another medical problem such as depression, chronic stress or anxiety, heart disease, sleep apnea, menopause or diabetes, so it’s important to see a doctor if you are having trouble sleeping.

Lack of sleep is a sign of a sleep disorder. If insomnia only occurs time to time, it is commonly referred to as intermittent insomnia. This is the type of insomnia that occurs when a person is traveling or is just worried about a temporary problem. When insomnia last for a period of 3 weeks to six months it is classified as acute insomnia. Insomnia which last from months to years is classified as chronic insomnia and health problems that are believed to be caused by chronic insomnia are many and vary from fibromyalgia to obesity and can even be fatal. Experts believe that chronic insomnia is a greater mortality risk than smoking, high blood pressure and heart disease.