8 Ways Lack of Sleep Affects Your Health

8 Ways Lack of Sleep Affects Your Health

We’ve all been there: Tossing and turning, worried about missing an early-morning flight, or thinking about tomorrow’s big meeting.

Lack of sleep is prevalent in the U.S. In fact, a recent study by the Center for Disease Control found that more than 2/3 of Americans are not getting adequate sleep. The American Academy of Sleep Medicine recommends at least 7 hours per night for adults aged 18 – 60.

We understand, the idea of sleeping for 7 solid hours may seem far-fetched. After all, we live in a 24-hour work and news cycle, not to mention the friends, family and social media that keep our brains going nonstop. But a steady dose of sleepless or restless nights can lead to physical and mental ailments, and increase the risk of serious disease.

8 ways lack of sleep affects your health

Night after night of disrupted sleep can cause much bigger problems than irritability and forgetfulness. It can make you downright unhealthy. Here are some key ways lack of sleep can affect your health:

  1. You feel “ditzy” – Not enough sleep can leave you unable to focus, problem solve or create.
  2. You’re moody – You frequently feel grumpy or irritable, or can get upset or angry quickly. You may even develop a mood disorder like anxiety or depression.
  3. You get sick often – Feel like you frequently have a cold or the flu? Not sleeping well weakens your immune system, putting you at risk for illness & disease.
  4. Your health risks rise – Without adequate sleep, you become at an increased risk of diabetes, high blood pressure & heart disease
  5. You gain weight – Not sleeping enough can stimulate your appetite and even increase cravings, leading to weight gain.
  6. You cause accidents – Sleep-deprived people have caused some of the world’s worst disasters and accidents. Don’t drive or operate machinery while drowsy or exhausted.
  7. You’re frequently off-balance – Lack of sleep can affect your balance and coordination, making you susceptible to falls.
  8. You’re not in the mood – Whether due to sheer tiredness or low testosterone, the sleep-deprived tend to suffer from low sex drive.

Effective care for sleep disorders and more, throughout the Pomona Valley

If getting the recommended 7 hours of sleep per night sounds like a dream to you, talk to Pomona Valley Health Centers about sleep disorder treatment. Whatever’s keeping you awake—insomnia, sleep apnea, snoring, restless legs syndrome, narcolepsy, or work shift sleep problems—we can help. After learning all about you, your lifestyle and sleeping patterns, we’ll create a treatment plan to bring you better sleep.

And as always, PVHC offers complete healthcare for you and your family, from checkups to vaccinations to women’s health; urgent care to radiology and sports medicine.

Experience the difference our low-cost, hassle-free, high-quality healthcare can make in your life. To schedule an appointment in Claremont, Chino Hills, La Verne or Pomona, call 909-630-7829, or use our easy online form.

What Are the Best Ways to Treat Sleep Disorders?

Attention Sleep Center patients:
We have been informed of a recall affecting Philips CPAP/PAP machines. If you are currently using a machine manufactured by Philips and one of our Sleep Center physicians is involved in your Sleep Care, please call 909-865-9152 or email CPAPRecall@Pvhmc.org.

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Sleep Disorders

You sometimes have problems sleeping due to stress, a hectic schedule or other outside influences. No big deal, right? Probably not, but if these issues start to interfere with your daily life, they can indicate a sleep disorder. Some of the symptoms of a sleep disorder include:

  • Difficulty falling or staying asleep
  • Daytime fatigue
  • Strong urge to take naps during the day
  • Irritability or anxiety
  • Lack of concentration
  • Depression

There are several types of sleep disorders: From insomnia to sleep apnea to narcolepsy to sleepwalking. Some make it difficult to fall asleep and sleep through the night. Others make it tough to fall back asleep after waking up during the night. Aside from making you (and the family members you may be keeping awake) feel exhausted, a lack of sleep can negatively impact your energy, mood, concentration and overall health. But you’re not alone. More than 75 percent of Americans between the ages of 20 and 59 report regularly having sleeping difficulties.

What are the best treatments for sleep disorders?

Depending on the type of sleep disorder you have, your doctor may recommend a medical treatment that can include:

  • Sleeping pills or melatonin supplements
  • Allergy or cold medication
  • Medications for underlying health issues
  • An assistive breathing device or surgery (usually for sleep apnea)
  • A dental guard (usually for teeth grinding)

Making lifestyle adjustments can also improve your quality of sleep, especially when combined with medical treatments. You may want to consider:

  • Increasing vegetables and fish to your diet while reducing sugar intake
  • Exercising to reduce stress and anxiety
  • Establishing a regular sleeping schedule and sticking to it
  • Drinking less water before bedtime
  • Limiting caffeine intake, especially in the late afternoon or evening
  • Cutting back on tobacco and alcohol use
  • Eating smaller, low-carbohydrate meals before bedtime

Specialized, personalized care for sleep disorders, right in your backyard

Welcome to better sleep for you, and your loved ones. At Pomona Valley Health Centers, our board-certified team of physicians and experienced, highly trained sleep disorder specialists are ready to help you sleep well again. Our approach to care works through dedicated, individualized sleep disorder treatment. For healthier sleep, or to take care of all your family’s health care needs, the expert and caring medical support you need is close to home.

Schedule an appointment at a PVHC location near you. For Claremont, Chino Hills or Pomona, call 909-630-7829 or click here to use our online form.

Understanding Sleep Disorders

understanding sleep disorders

We all have those nights: It’s difficult to fall asleep or stay asleep. Some of us can’t resist the 2 am smart phone check to read text messages or browse social media. Occasional restless nights of our own creation, increased stress at work, schedule changes, jet lag or the loss of a loved one are normal. But consistent sleep disruptions could indicate a sleep disorder.

Almost half of Americans report sleep-related problems—from minor sleep interruptions to chronic sleep disorders. That translates to roughly 162 million people attempting to drive safely and work efficiently on interrupted sleep or not enough sleep. People with sleep insufficiency are also more susceptible to chronic diseases, including:

  • Hypertension
  • Diabetes
  • Depression
  • Obesity
  • Cancer

Common sleep disorders

There are more than 80 kinds of sleep disorders. The most common types are:

  • Insomnia – A hard time falling or staying asleep, resulting in decreased daytime function
  • Sleep apnea – Breathing interruptions during sleep
  • Restless legs syndrome – A tingling or prickly sensation in the legs relieved by moving, which may interfere with sleep
  • Narcolepsy – Daytime “sleep attacks,” sometimes accompanied by sudden muscle weakness

Causes of sleep disorders

Factors that contribute to sleep disorders include:

  • Physical and mental conditions – Heartburn, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, chronic muscle or joint pain, allergies and respiratory problems, along with depression and anxiety disorders, can disrupt sleep
  • Environmental Alcohol, caffeine and other stimulants will often interfere with the sleep cycle
  • Working the night shift – People who work at night often cannot sleep, even when they feel drowsy — their activities run contrary to their “biological clocks”
  • Medicines – Many medicines can interfere with sleep
  • Aging – About half of all adults over the age of 65 have some sort of sleep disorder

Sleep disorder treatments

Depending on the cause of the sleep disorder, treatment normally involves a combination of medical care and lifestyle changes, such as:

  • Treating underlying health issues, like cardiac disease or pain
  • Using a CPAP machine or other continuous positive airway pressure devices, dental devices such as mandibular advancement and/or surgical options for sleep apnea
  • Cognitive behavioral therapy (education about strategies to improve sleep)
  • Improving sleep environment
  • Psychological evaluations for anxiety and/or depression
  • Regular exercise
  • Limiting caffeine intake, especially in the late afternoon or evening
  • Eliminating tobacco use and decreasing alcohol use
  • Avoidance of alcohol near bedtime

Expert care for sleep disorders and more

If your life, health and job are being impacted by poor quality sleep, interrupted sleep, insufficient sleep or daytime sleepiness, the team at Pomona Valley Health Centers is here for you. Our board-certified physicians are sleep disorder specialists who offer leading-edge diagnosis and treatment for sleep disorders.

Not only can we help you sleep better, we can care for the health and well being of your entire family. From family medicine to sports medicine and physical therapy, complete women’s health care and urgent care, PVHC offers four convenient locations throughout Southern California’s Inland Empire.

Experience comprehensive, compassionate health care that’s close to home. To schedule your appointment, call 909-630-7829 or click here to use our online form.