Sleep Deprivation

For some, sleep is the relaxing conclusion to a fulfilling day. The peace and mind of laying your head on a soft pillow only to wake refreshed and ready to get on with the day. For others, sleep is literally a nightmare. The endless tossing and turning. The restlessness that carries not only into the following day, but much further into the reaches of our lives. So what is proper rest doing for us? Sleep is essential for maintaining alertness, energy for daily duties and health. If you’re one of the 37 percent of people who sleep fewer than 7 hours per night—or if you aren’t getting the quality of sleep needed—then there is a good chance that you’re sleep-deprived. While some people need less sleep than others, studies show getting less sleep than you need may negatively affect your health in a multitude of ways.

Sleep Deprivation can lead to higher instances of depression and or anxiety. You may find restlessness leading to poor mood, irritability, low energy, decreased libido and poor judgment. The good news is these symptoms often can be reversed when normal sleep is found regularly. Decreased quality of life can often run hand and hand with sleep issues. You may cut back on activities you enjoy because you simply don’t have enough energy in your tank for them. Furthermore, sleep issues may lead to inappropriate times of rest. Ever seen that poor soul sleeping through their stop on the bus?.

Well what about lack of sleep and our bodies internal response? I’m glad that you asked! The lack of proper sleep can lead to an increased appetite. Research shows the hormones that help regulate appetite are affected by a lack of sleep. This is a bigger issue on it’s own because an increased appetite could lead to overeating, spurring more problems to march along with our lack of rest. Over time, this may contribute to obesity, which is a risk factor for cardiovascular disease.The body can also show decreased immune function putting you at a greater risk for illness. In a round about way, you could be tossing and turning towards sickness. In sleep deprived animals and humans, studies have shown that white blood cell counts lower which is a strong indication of decreased immune function. In short, if you want to maintain proper immune function, you may want to regulate your rest.

Heard enough? Sorry, it keeps going! Ever felt a jump in your heart rate when your sleep is sacrificed? That is because sleep deprivation can lead to an increased risk of heart attack, angina and stroke. Relevant sleep studies have produced some concerning results for our heart health. Less sleep, especially on a consistent basis, can directly correlate with higher blood pressure and more atherosclerosis, also known as clogging of the arteries. The increased risk may also be related to sleep apnea, a series of pauses in breathing during sleep that causes poor-quality sleep and added stress to your cardiovascular system. If you weren’t already convinced enough, lack of sleep can lead to increased risk of accidents and death within our daily lives. Some studies suggest people who don’t get regular, high-quality sleep have an increased risk of death. Less sleep can lead to decreased reaction time and increased accidents, particularly while driving. Studies have shown that driving while sleep deprived can
often be as dangerous or even more dangerous than drinking and driving. It may also be related to the fact that being sleep deprived contributes to serious cardiovascular risk factors, which increase your risk of death. We need our hearts to be healthy and happy!

Being sleep-deprived over time is not just an inconvenience. It can pose a serious health risk. And it’s a far too common problem in a world filled with deadlines and to-do lists.So what can we do to reverse these trends and strengthen our relationships with our rest? In a world full of potential remedies, where should one turn? Our society often steers the restless towards pills or non-natural remedies. While pharmaceuticals can be effective, one must wonder what else they may lead to? Ever feel like you are trading one side effect for another? The good news is you’re not alone here. As society becomes even more fast paced, more natural remedies have emerged. These include Melatonin, which can lead to a healthy circadian rhythm (an individual’s day and night cycle) as well as ensuring that a person has healthy dreams and gets a good amount of REM sleep. Sounds nice right? Over time, the body can effectively build tolerances to melatonin. It can also lead to sleepiness during the day, higher sensitivities to depression, headaches, insomnia and much more.

So let me get this straight. Sleep can cause a multitude of issues both internally and externally. And natural remedies may not leave you with the results your body and mind need. So what do I do then? At Life Springs Family Chiropractic of Denver, CO, Doctor Josh Beaudry is combining chiropractic and intuitive skills with neurofeedback training and other therapies to help patients heal faster and more completely, for good. While most of us have experienced or know someone who has experienced being adjusted by a chiropractor, neurofeedback is far less known.

Neurofeedback is a type of biofeedback that uses real-time displays of your brain activity. Using electroencephalography (EEG)—in an attempt to teach self-regulation of brain function. To summarize, we can scan the brain and determine which brain waves (Beta, Theta, etc.) are more prevalent. Higher occurrences of beta waves are associated with anxiety. Alpha brainwave patterns are associated with a state of wakeful relaxation while Theta brainwaves are associated with deep relaxation and with some stages of sleep, including the lighter stages of non-REM (NREM) sleep. Essentially, we are looking to reprogram the mind to gravitate towards higher levels of theta. In doing this, the mind can become more conditioned to finding it’s rest. Steering away from anxiety and restlessness, and directly towards a deeper state of relaxation.

During sleep, the brain has a chance to sort, prioritise and le all the information taken in during the day. If the mind is stuck on the experiences of the day or the anticipations of tomorrow, sleep can be harder than expected. Mental functioning decreases nearly twice as rapidly as physical performance with decreased sleep.The reasons for sleep difficulties are varied. It may be due to stress, anxiety, burnout, trauma, or habitual loop thinking. Whatever the cause, the brain has lost the ability to shift into the correct state for sleep. Enter Neurofeedback. Neurofeedback helps you to restore your natural sleep rhythms. By training brain control and flexibility, the smooth transition of the central nervous system from activation to rest can happen naturally.

Our lives can often be stressful and fast paced. Our bodies and minds must be in the right state to concur what the day brings to us. Putting yourself in the right place to win the day starts with proper rest. If you’re experiencing sleep issues at any level, know that you are not alone. You are not broken, your mind simply needs to be retrained to find the proper state of mind to lead you to your rest. I implore you to reach out to Dr. Josh Beaudry and the welcoming environment of Life Springs Family Chiropractic. With his help, Proper rest can become consistent. Restlessness can be a thing of the past, leaving the best you ready and willing to shine!