We all know that sleepless nights can make us feel wretched, but is insomnia dangerous? The answer lies in the severity of sleeplessness, and length of time in which you fail to obtain adequate shut-eye. In addition, your current health will probably play a part in the outcome.
You might not imagine that staying awake frequently when you ought to be sleeping is a serious problem. After all, everyone stays up late now and then or goes through a period when sleep is difficult. Illness, stress, excitement, over-stimulation of your mind, pain, and a variety of other factors can result in nights spent tossing and turning instead of sleeping. However, the effects of insomnia can be detrimental. Moreover, the negative results of not sleeping can have a cumulative effect.
Even after one night without proper sleep, you are likely to feel rough. Your physical reaction speed will have slowed down, and your thoughts might be hazy. Additionally, you memory could be poor. You might crave carbohydrates and sugary foods, and perhaps, you will be irritable and impatient.
At the same time, your immune system will have taken a small knock, meaning that you could catch viruses more easily than normal. Nonetheless, you can recover from a little sleep loss without too much effort. Suffer from frequent sleep difficulties, and prospects will not look so bright.
Because your system is set to go-slow mode, you might grab micro-sleeps without knowing that they are occurring. Studies show that parts of your brain can switch off when you need sleep, even though you look as though, and think that you are, awake. Naturally, you need all parts of your brain to function well when you are driving a car, making important decisions, or carrying out simple, everyday actions such as crossing the road. As you can probably imagine, countless accidents occur at the same time as micro-sleeps.
When you have severe insomnia, you might suffer from partial hallucinations, whereby your brain jumps to conclusions about what it thinks you are seeing as your eyes are not focusing clearly and your attention span is weak. Driving or operating machinery at such a time can be hazardous. You may become deeply depressed and tearful, and your relationships could suffer since you become withdrawn or simply have no energy to keep them strong.
Research suggests that going without much sleep over a long period can make you more susceptible to gaining diseases that could lead to your demise. We also know that rats, when severely deprived of sleep, die. Before their untimely end, they begin to rapidly lose weight, even when they are motionless. It might be possible that we too, would die if we did not sleep. Furthermore, even if not sleeping does not result in you gaining a disease that kills you, if you have insomnia, you might already have an illness that puts you at risk.
Insomnia has the potential to produce countless harmful effects relating to your mental and emotional health, which is why it is important to address sleep loss before it becomes an issue.