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From Sleepless Nights To Health Risks – Understanding Sleep Deprivation

Anameti Usoro is an expert sleep coach and anesthesiologist specializing in insomnia relief for busy professionals through breathwork and sleep coaching. As the founder of Restore Rest, she combines science and holistic practices to help individuals achieve restful sleep and improved well-being.

 
Executive Contributor Anameti Usoro

Sleep often takes a backseat to our busy lives, yet the consequences of sleep deprivation are profound. From my own personal experiences with insomnia and as an expert sleep coach and breathwork facilitator, I’ve seen how a lack of restful sleep can disrupt lives. Understanding these impacts is the first step toward prioritizing sleep and seeking the help needed to restore it.


Worried and alone woman

Top three physical health consequences


1. Weakened immune system

Sleep is the unsung hero of a robust immune system. During those restful hours, our bodies produce cytokines, proteins essential for fighting off infections and inflammation. When sleep is scarce, cytokine production dwindles, leaving us more vulnerable to illnesses like the common cold and more severe infections. Also, during deep sleep, your brain flushes out toxins that keep your brain cells healthy.


2. Increased risk of chronic conditions

Regularly getting less than six hours of sleep a night can lead to serious health issues, such as heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and hypertension. Sleep deprivation disrupts the body’s ability to regulate blood sugar and blood pressure, paving the way for these chronic conditions.


3. Weight gain and obesity

Sleep and our appetite are closely linked through the hormones ghrelin and leptin. Ghrelin increases hunger, while leptin signals satiety. Lack of sleep throws this balance off, boosting ghrelin and suppressing leptin, which often leads to cravings for high-calorie foods and, subsequently, weight gain.


Top three mental health consequences


1. Mood disorders

Sleep deprivation and mood disorders go hand in hand. Insufficient sleep affects the brain’s ability to manage emotions and cope with stress. People with chronic insomnia are at a higher risk of developing mood disorders like depression and anxiety. When we don’t get enough rest, our bodies produce more cortisol, the stress hormone. Elevated cortisol levels can lead to feelings of anxiety and make us more susceptible to stress. This creates a vicious cycle, as anxiety and stress further disrupt sleep, leading to chronic insomnia.

2. Cognitive impairment

Our brains need sleep to consolidate memories, solve problems, and maintain concentration. Without enough sleep, these cognitive functions suffer, making it harder to learn, stay productive, and avoid mistakes. Studies have shown that sleep deprivation can cause impaired performance that is similar to alcohol intoxication. 


3. Decreased emotional resilience

When we don’t get enough sleep, our ability to handle stress and bounce back from emotional challenges diminishes. This lack of resilience can strain relationships and negatively affect overall well-being. Your nervous system gets dysregulated and your emotions get dysregulated as well.


Four strategies for better sleep


1. Prioritize sleep hygiene

Creating a consistent sleep schedule, establishing a restful environment, and adopting a relaxing pre-sleep routine can significantly improve sleep quality. Avoiding screens before bedtime and engaging in calming activities like reading or taking a warm bath are also helpful too. This can be individualized to what calms and relaxes you. An established pre-sleep routine will encourage your body to send out the internal signals that initiate sleep.


2. Practice breathwork and meditation

Breathwork and meditation are powerful tools for reducing stress and preparing the body for sleep. Techniques like deep breathing and mindfulness meditation can help calm the nervous system by activating your parasympathetic system, also known as the rest and digest system, making it easier to fall asleep and stay asleep.


3. Limit stimulants and alcohol

Caffeine and alcohol can disrupt sleep patterns. Limit caffeine intake in the afternoon and evening, and be mindful of alcohol consumption, as it can interfere with the quality of sleep. The half-life of caffeine is about 4-6 hours. That’s important to know because half of the caffeine you consumed is still in your system at that time. So, stopping caffeine earlier in the day gives your body a better chance of falling asleep with less caffeine in your system. 


Alcohol may seem like it helps you fall asleep faster, however it limits important sleep stages like deep sleep and REM sleep, which will ultimately decrease sleep quality. 


4. Seek professional help

If sleep issues persist despite these efforts, consider consulting a sleep coach. As a sleep coach, I provide personalized strategies to address sleep problems, incorporating techniques like breathwork to promote relaxation and better sleep. Working with a sleep coach can help identify the underlying causes of insomnia and develop a tailored plan to improve sleep quality beyond what medications can do.


Sleep deprivation can have serious impacts on both physical and mental health, but it’s never too late to take steps toward better sleep. If you’re struggling with sleep issues, don’t hesitate to seek help. Book a coaching call today to start your journey towards restful nights and healthier days. A sleep coach can offer the guidance and support you need to overcome insomnia and reclaim your well-being.


For more personalized sleep solutions and to learn how breathwork can enhance your sleep, reach out to me at info@restorerest.com and check out my website here. Let’s work together to transform your sleep and improve your quality of life.


Understanding the severe impacts of sleep deprivation on health underscores the importance of prioritizing sleep. By adopting healthy sleep habits and seeking professional support when needed, you can improve your sleep and, consequently, your overall health and well-being. Remember, a good night’s sleep is not a luxury; it’s a necessity.


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Anameti Usoro, Sleep Coach and Anesthesiologist

Anameti Usoro is a sleep coach and anesthesiologist dedicated to helping busy professionals overcome insomnia and sleep disturbances through breathwork and sleep coaching. With a deep understanding of sleep science and holistic practices, she founded Restore Rest to provide personalized solutions for better sleep and overall well-being. Passionate about transforming lives, Anameti Usoro uses innovative techniques and compassionate guidance to support clients on their journey to restful nights and rejuvenated days.

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