Signs it’s Time to Have Your Sleep Assessed

For some people, sleep is a welcome, restful escape from the world. It gives the body a chance to rejuvenate itself so that the individual can greet the new day with energy and focus. Unfortunately, for other people, sleep doesn’t provide momentum at all. Instead, some individuals wake up feeling more tired than they did before going to bed. If this sounds like you, it might be time to visit Dr. Walter Heidary General Dentist, as there could be negative effects at play much more serious than morning grogginess.

What Happens While You Sleep

Sleep is actually a pretty complicated event. Your night’s sleep can be divided into two categories: rapid eye movement (REM) sleep and non-REM sleep periods. It’s during the REM sleep that you dream. You also need to have adequate REM sleep in order to feel rested. However, your body actually goes through three stages of non-REM sleep in order to reach the REM state.

  1. The first non-REM phase lasts 5-10 minutes. Your eyes are closed, and you can be awakened easily.
  2. During the second stage, your heartrate and body temperature drop as you fall into a light sleep.
  3. The third phase is considered a deep-sleep, and it’s much harder to wake up. However, if you’re disturbed, you’re likely to wake up disoriented and groggy.

After your body has cycled through the three non-REM phases, it will go into the REM phase of sleep. Generally the first cycle of REM sleep lasts only about 10 minutes. After that, your body goes back through all the non-REM phases again. This cycle continues, with the REM phase growing a bit longer each time, until you wake for the day.

What Happens When Cycles Are Disrupted

In short, if you’re woken up by something, your body has to start the sleep process over again. This means that you may not reach the deep-sleep or the REM phase much, if at all, depending on what wakes you up and how often you’re woken.  Researchers have looked into what the body does during each stage of sleep. During the non-REM phases, it’s believed that the body is repairing itself. REM sleep, on the other hand, is linked to cognition and wakefulness. When a person realizes this is happening or thinks it might be, it’s important to arrange a sleep study so the cause of the waking can be determined and corrected.

Effects of Inadequate Sleep

Again, it’s not so much the length of time a person spends in bed, but the ability to go through all the sleep cycles enough times. When a person misses out on cycles, his or her whole life can be affected.

Mood- There’s a reason why sleep deprivation has been used on prisoners to gain information – it absolutely wears a person down. It can increase anxiety, stress, depression, and can lead to anger and irritability, according to Harvard research.

Cognitive Ability- A person’s memory, as well as ability to work and to focus are affected as well. Some studies have shown that drowsy-driving is as dangerous as drunk-driving.

Personal Relationships- If a person is depressed, irritable and unable to focus, it can be highly detrimental to relationships as well.

Contact Us If You’re Experiencing These Problems

Although sleep deprivation is highly destructive, there’s almost always a way to correct it. Finding the cure begins with scheduling a sleep study. If you have questions or are ready to schedule, please contact Dr. Walter Heidary General Dentist using our  online form or call the office at (905) 332-0105.

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