Now, more than ever, the message being broadcasted by health professionals is that adequate and quality sleep is essential to our overall physical and mental wellbeing and longevity. The consequences are especially relevant for those who suffer from sleep apnea. A lack of diagnosis or failure to adhere to medically instructed use of a CPAP machine can result in a poorer quality of life and a reduction in life expectancy. Getting a quality eight hours of sleep a night is essential for the repair and regeneration of the mind and body. Here is how poor quality of sleep can impact the human mind and body.
Failure to obtain proper rest can lead to fatigue and irritability. This fatigue and irritability can disrupt the quality of your personal, social and work life. The accumulative effect of this could you lead to a decline in mental wellbeing and you being more susceptible to developing depression.
Impaired cognitive function
Common impairments to cognitive function resulting from a lack of sleep include a poor attention span, an inability to focus, slower reflexes, and forgetfulness. These symptoms can be a dangerous hazard in day to day life, however there are worse consequences associated with long-term sleep deprivation. Deeper states of sleep – which are frequently interrupted by sleep apnea – play a significant role in memory formation and mental wellbeing. It has been noted that a lack of adequate deep sleep is linked to lower spatial memory and increased chances of developing the degenerative diseases Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.
Not only does poor quality of sleep affect the brain and its function, but it also affects the cells throughout the body. Growth hormones are released during Rapid Eye Movement (REM) sleep, and this hormone is responsible for regenerating muscles and cells throughout the body. Sleep apnea sufferers frequently experience disruption to their REM sleep due to their airways closing more during this phase of the sleep cycle. Moreover, the reduction in oxygen supply due to a restricted airway is suspected to enhance the development of metabolic syndrome, poor muscle tone, increased inflammation, and premature aging.