Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Mental effects of lack of sleep

Lack of sleep even on a temporary basis can have a negative effect on your life. If you have been sick or stressed out about something you may find yourself lying awake at night unable to sleep. And while you are lying there you can’t stop thinking about how tired you will be in the morning. When morning comes you are indeed tired and probably irritable. You aren’t quite as attentive as you usually are. Your mood takes a nose dive and the only thing that you can think about is getting sleep.

What if you felt this way every day?

That is pretty much how the typical sleep apnea sufferer feels every day. You wake constantly through the night never falling into a deep REM sleep. When you get out of the bed you feel terrible as if you didn’t sleep at all and you really didn’t.

If you have read about sleep apnea you know how the health risks involved. The most frightening is the increased chance of heart disease. Your heart is being damaged by the lack of oxygen which could lead to a heart attack. There are also other health risks such as diabetes and gout.

But what does it to your mental state?

It is difficult to have a positive outlook on life if you are so tired. Your energy level is low, so you can’t do everything that you would like, which makes you more depressed. The lack of oxygen also causes you to forget things and your ability to think and make decisions might also be hampered.

In my own case I have had all the problems described above. One thing that has helped me is writing about sleep apnea and doing research on it. I continue to look for ways reclaim my sleep.

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  1. Sleep apnea can also affect your partner if they are being constantly woken up by someone who is snoring. I've just returned from my doctor and been told that I possible have a mild case of depression because my sleep patterns have been so disturbed.

    My partner has been reluctant to go to the doctors and when I returned today with my diagnosis he is now making an appointment (saying he is going to make an appointment). This is a serious condition and must be responsibly monitored.

  2. You are right, sleep apnea should be taken care of.
    thanks for the comment

  3. I recently discovered I have had severe obstructive sleep apnea since infancy (my mother remembers jarring me when my snoring stop), and I wonder what the long-term effects are of the lack of oxygen. I have been very confused, forgetful and anxious, even though the CPAP machine has been wonderful for me that last half year.( No more falling asleep at the wheel, migraines, etc.)
    Any ideas how long htis will last? I sometimes feel like I am crazy.