A professor of sleep medicine has found a link between sleep deprivation and the development of neuropsychiatric disorders such as bipolar depression and anxiety.
As well as affecting the well-being of the mind, forcing the body to stay awake also affects blood pressure and increases inflammation, which results in an increased likelihood of developing cancer and heart disease – two of the biggest killers in Britain.
An interesting study by Harvard and Berkeley in the U.S. found that sleep deprivation may even increase levels of addictive and impulsive behaviour. When we miss a night of sleep, we immediately experience a boost in positivity, motivation and sometimes even sex drive. This is known as short term euphoria and is driven by a chemical called dopamine. However, this surge of dopamine is addictive and it also reduces the effectiveness of the brain’s planning and evaluating function, making it easy to make over-optimistic risks on the spur of the moment.
For college and University students hoping to spend a night cramming revision before an exam – you might want to think again. Sleep helps with the ‘consolidation’ of memories, the process which allows them to sink in. When you miss a night’s sleep, you lose the ability to recall memories so effectively the next day, rendering all of that cramming completely worthless.
So, if you want to stay as alert, happy, sensible and clear-headed as possible, getting a good night’s sleep is highly recommended.
Do you have trouble sleeping? If so, you might have a sleep disorder. Sleep disorders include:
- night terrors
- nightmare disorder
- sleep paralysis
- teeth grinding
- sleep walking
- restless leg syndrome
- confusional arousals.
To find out more about these sleep disorders and how hypnotherapy can help treat them, please visit our Sleep Disorder page.
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