The most important advice we can offer you is that you need not worry that you will come to any serious harm on account of your poor sleep. If possible, you should come to accept that as you grow older you are not going to have the kind of sleep you did when you were young. But there is some certain effect of insomnia let’s know-how does insomnia affect your life.
How does insomnia affect your life?
Your sleep is probably not as bad as you think anyway. We really are all very inaccurate in our judgments as to how much we sleep.
In Stanford in California, the sleep of 120 people who thought that they slept badly was compared by recording their electrical brain waves in the laboratory on some nights and by getting them to make their own estimates of how many hours they slept, or how many minutes it took them to fall sleep.
While there were indeed a few who took a couple of hours to fall asleep, they were only the tiny minority. Most of the volunteers fell asleep within a matter of minutes, even though they felt that they usually took much longer.
Likewise, although there were indeed some people who only slept about four hours in the night those who thought that they generally slept only about four hours but in fact slept considerably longer, were far more numerous.
Nevertheless, as we made clear in the previous article there is more to sleep than just its duration. The laboratory sleep of those who believe they are poor sleepers does indeed contain more frequent awakenings throughout the night.
Moreover, the body temperature of poor sleepers does not fall as low in the middle of the night as does the temperature of the good sleeper which is a sign that the poor sleepers are not getting so profound a degree of rest and are therefore unlikely to be getting such good conditions for a refreshing night’s sleep.
This graph illustrates the findings of the Californian study mentioned opposite. A comparison of the pairs of columns shows that most insomniacs in fact sleep longer than they think they do.
We mentioned on another page that the corticosteroid hormones, which hinder the renewal of the body’s tissue during sleep, are normally low during the night begin to rise before sleep usually ends, and rise to a high level after breakfast.
Some people at least who feel that their sleep is of poor quality have higher levels of corticosteroids all through the night, and by day too, than do those who feel that they have good quality sleep.
So it is possible that poor sleep may provide less than ideal conditions for renewal of mind and body. This does not mean you will run down like a car battery that is being drained of energy without sufficient recharging.
Your body and brain will restore themselves adequately whatever the quality of your sleep but may have more of a struggle to do so.
Your sleep may be bad just now or even always bad. Of itself, we must repeat this will not harm you. If there is a recent deterioration of your sleep for no obvious reason, accompanied by loss of energy and normally interest, then it is reasonable to see your doctor don’t help yourself to sleeping pills that were prescribed years ago for someone else.
Don’t spend money on vitamin supplements or cranky devices like hop pillows and magnetic headbands nor on clinics that claim to cure insomnia: it is much better to be advised first by your regular family doctor.
More content related to sleep:
- Causes of sleep disturbance and solution
- 18 Golden Rules for Better Sleep
- How does food affect sleep
- How weight affects your sleep quality?
- Common side effects of sleeping pills
- Common sleeping medicine/drugs that can make you sleep
- Drugs that keep you awake at night
- Causes of insomnia and how to cope with insomnia
- Who is most likely to suffer from insomnia?
- What is sleep insomnia?
- How to get better sleep naturally?
- How does sleep deprivation affect you?
- What causes lack of sleep at night
- What causes sleepwalking and talking?
- What happens when we dream?
- Types and the stages of sleep
- Various methods of sleep measurement
- How hormones affect sleep quality?
- What happens as we fall asleep?
- How Do We Fall Asleep?