Do you wake up too early or struggle to fall asleep at night? Do you wake up feeling poorly rested or unrefreshed? Most of us have sleep problems from time to time. However, ongoing issues can put your health at risk.
Almost 60 million Americans live with insomnia, spending day after day exhausted and drained of energy. At Compass Mental Health & Wellness, our team understands how a lack of sleep can impact your life and wellness. If you have insomnia, here’s how your lack of shut-eye could be racking your health.
Why sleep matters
Sleeping 7-9 hours a night may seem like a waste of time, but sleep plays a crucial role in your health. This essential function provides your mind and body with a chance to recharge, repair, and rejuvenate itself. It accomplishes this in four stages:
The first stage is the transition to sleep, and it usually lasts several minutes.
This is a stage of deeper sleep as your heart rate and breathing continue to slow, and your muscles relax further. This is often the longest sleep stage.
In this stage, your heart rate, breathing, muscle relaxation, and brain wave activity reach their lowest levels.
In the last stage, your breathing, heart rate, and blood pressure begin to increase and dreaming occurs.
Together, the four stages in this sleep cycle last 90-120 minutes. Then, the entire process begins again, repeating several times throughout the night.
The precise amount of sleep you need changes over your lifetime. For example, a newborn 0-3 months of age typically requires 14-17 hours of sleep each day. But, people ages 65 and older only need 7-8 hours.
The causes of insomnia
You can have a sleepless night for numerous reasons, such as:
- Poor lifestyle or sleep habits
- Mood disorders
- Chronic pain
- Gastrointestinal disorders
- Hormone fluctuations, such as menopause or thyroid disease
- Neurological conditions, such as Alzheimer’s disease
- Other sleep disorders, such as sleep apnea
- Certain medications or substance use
However, no matter what’s to blame for not getting enough sleep, it can take a big toll on your mental and physical health.
The health toll from insomnia
A poor night’s sleep may leave you irritable, sluggish, anxious, and depressed. And, you may struggle at work, in relationships, and even with your memory. But, it doesn’t stop there. Over time, insomnia can also increase your risk for developing numerous medical conditions, such as:
Insomnia can also weaken your immune system and increase inflammation in your body, leaving you more vulnerable to illness and disease. And, insomnia can even shorten your life, increasing your risk of death by 12% compared to people who get 7-8 hours of sleep each night.
Reclaim your health with a good night’s sleep
Our team uses a combination of strategies that can help improve your sleep quality each night. Based on your unique needs, your personalized plan could involve natural remedies, lifestyle modifications, counseling, or medications.
Together, we can help determine what’s keeping you from getting quality sleep. And, once we do, we can help you finally get the rest you need.
Are you suffering from insomnia? We can help you get to the bottom of it. To learn more, schedule a consultation at Compass Mental Health & Wellness by calling 281-318-5098 or booking an appointment online today.