Sleep deprivation

Posted by Melissa Callaghan on

Insomnia and sleep deprivation

Going for 2 weeks of sleeping less than 6 hours per night will have the same effects as going 24 hours without sleep.

Sleep is essential!!!! It is just as important as oxygen, food, and water.

There are many signs that can indicate you may be sleep deprived:

 Always hungry 
 weight gain 
 acting without thinking (impulsive) 
 constant yawning 
 dozing off while inactive (eg watching tv) 
 feeling groggy when waking in the morning 
 feeling groggy all day 
 poor concentration 
 mood changes 
 over-reacting to situations 
 crying without reason or for weird reasons 
 short term memory loss 
 difficulty making decisions 
 tripping over more frequently (sometimes over nothing) 
 frequent colds 
 blurred vision 
 skin breakouts 
 think you’ve fallen asleep while driving 
 having micro sleeps.

As I love to teach here is a bit of information about sleep

There are two body systems that regulate sleep. The circadian biological clock and sleep/wake homeostasis.

We go through phases in our day of feeling awake and alert, feeling tired, and the signal that tells us to go to bed (which a lot of the time gets ignored). If the sleep/wake homeostasis cycle worked by itself all would be well as we would just follow the signals and we would feel awake all day long and go to sleep when we are meant to. It basically calculated the amount of time since you last had a decent sleep and signals when it is time to have another deep sleep.

However there is another component to our sleep regulation called the circadian biological clock commonly referred to as the circadian/diurnal rhythm.

The circadian biological clock is a 24-hour cycle that is generated from within the body and regulated by the external cues of sunlight, darkness, and temperature. This can also be affected by changing time zone changes.

We all know that it is difficult to sleep when it is hot and light exposure is also important. When the sun goes down, your brain releases a hormone to make you sleep and in the morning when the sun comes up this hormone is suppressed and the brain releases a different one to wake you up.

When circadian rhythm is dysregulated it can have an impact on several hormones including

 growth hormone 
 leptin (regulates food intake and body weight) 
 and ghrelin (stimulates appetite).

It can also effect 
 fat metabolism and 
 blood glucose regulation (diabetes).

As sleep can have such a huge impact on these hormone and metabolism mechanisms dysregulation can therefore lead to conditions such as

 insulin insensitivity 
 hormonal imbalance 
 and appetite dysregulation.

Teenagers are also effected by change in this cycle which can result in keeping them up to midnight every night and when they must get up for school the next day it becomes quite difficult to wake them up.

Some of the underlying causes of sleeping difficulties can include:

👉 Anxiety 
👉 depression 
👉 stressful life events or work events 
👉 excessive caffeine consumption 
👉 restless leg syndrome 
👉 agitation 
👉 adrenal fatigue 
👉 physical pain as well as 
👉 neurotransmitter imbalances.

Once we develop a treatment plan for you and begin to treat the underlying cause we can begin to bring sleep patterns back to normal. This can take a lot of work but it is worth it.

As a Naturopath it is my role to find your underlying cause of sleep deprivation and work on those areas. It helps to work on this sooner rather than later because before you know it there will be a number of additional conditions as previously mentioned arising due to sleep deprivation which will also need to be worked on.

Who am I?

I am a Bachelor qualified Naturopath who specialises in Gut, thyroid and liver health. Conditions such as hypothyroidism, fatty liver, high cholesterol, diabetes, & irritable bowel conditions. I help my patients by improving their symptoms while working on repairing the underlying cause. Patients experience amazing results which are seen in their blood tests with improved thyroid markers, cholesterol, and liver markers.  As well as the relief from improved gastrointestinal symptoms like the ones that mean you need to know where every single toilet is before you go anywhere

Melissa Callaghan ND, BHSc, BTeach
Clinical Naturopath

To book an appointment click here 

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