While it may seem like losing sleep isn't a problem, sleep deprivation has many negative consequences for your body and mind. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one in three Americans are sleep-deprived. Sleep deprivation affects many of the body's systems, including the immune system. People who experience sleep deprivation can become more susceptible to illnesses when their immune systems don't function properly. Learn more about the importance of addressing insomnia and improving sleep quality in this article, which also shares research-based information and resources for sleep solutions from the biostation.

Understanding insomnia

The Mayo Clinic defines insomnia as a sleep disorder that causes people to struggle to fall asleep, stay asleep, or wake up early and be unable to get back to sleep. Adults can experience short-term (acute) insomnia, which might last for a few days or several weeks, or long-term (chronic) insomnia, which might last for a month or longer.

Acute insomnia can result from experiencing a stressful or traumatic event. Chronic insomnia can result from prolonged stress, life events, or habits that interfere with sleep. Common causes of chronic insomnia include the following:

  • Overeating late in the evening.
  • Poor sleep positioning.
  • Irregular travel or work schedules that disrupt the body's natural circadian rhythm.
  • Stress.

While anyone can experience an occasional sleepless night, the Mayo Clinic notes that certain risk factors can increase a person's risk of experiencing insomnia:

  • Certain physical or mental health conditions.
  • Certain medications.
  • Stress on the body.

Women also experience insomnia more than men as a result of hormonal shifts during their menstrual cycle, menopause, and pregnancy.

The consequences of poor sleep

A study from Carnegie Mellon University found that those who averaged fewer than seven hours of sleep a night were three times more likely to catch a cold than those who got eight or more hours regularly. During nighttime sleep, our bodies produce the hormone melatonin, which triggers an essential type of immune cell to destroy infected cells. Less sleep over time leads to decreased melatonin levels, resulting in a compromised immune system.

A lack of sleep can also detrimentally affect the mind. When asleep, your body creates new neurons and makes vital connections between old and new information. Research from Princeton University found that rats that went without sleep for 72 hours had significantly fewer new brain cells in their hippocampus than rats that slept. Poor sleep can also exacerbate conditions such as obesity, heart disease, and mental health issues.

Identifying your sleep patterns

As you age, it's not uncommon to experience changes in sleep patterns. Beyond sleep changes that come with aging, you'll want to pay attention to serious disorders that can affect your ability to get the deep, restorative sleep you need, such as sleep apnea, restless leg syndrome, and periodic limb movement disorder. Sleep-tracking smartphone apps help you monitor your sleep, allowing you to identify patterns and trends affecting how much shuteye you receive each night.

Healthy sleep hygiene habits

Practice the following habits to help you establish a sleep-friendly environment:

  • Reserve your bed for sleep only.
  • Limit screen time before bed.
  • Keep your bedroom dark and block out noise.
  • Set a regular turn-in time.

Sleeping in the wrong position can force your spine out of alignment and compress tight muscles or nerves. As a result, you can experience neck and lower back pain and other ailments, such as numbness in your arms and fingers and shallow breathing. The ideal sleeping position is on your back with no pillow, allowing your spine to rest with its natural curves supported.

Diet and sleep

What you eat and drink plays a role in how well you sleep.

Boost your intake of B vitamins

Vitamins B1 (thiamine), B2 (riboflavin), B3 (niacin), B5 (pantothenic acid), biotin, B12 (cobalamin), and folate are vital for producing essential neurotransmitters, such as dopamine and serotonin. Get your B family of vitamins by eating a diet of lean meats, colorful vegetables, and whole grains.

Drink plenty of water

Water is the essential medium for all your body's chemical reactions and keeps cells in your body hydrated.

Monitor your daily caffeine intake

You become more sensitive to caffeine with age. Even the smallest amount found in chocolate or cola can keep you awake at night. Caffeine blocks adenosine, a neurochemical that helps you feel drowsy. Improve your sleep by drinking herbal tea or water rather than coffee or tea after lunch.

Physical activity and sleep

Walking, jogging, and other forms of physical activity, such as gardening, can help improve your sleep. These activities keep your body's natural sleep and wake rhythm calibrated through exposure to natural sunlight. Light enters the eye through the retina, a light-sensitive nerve tissue. This tissue connects directly with the master control in your brain that regulates your sleep and wake cycle.

Stress management techniques

Stress can sap your energy and interfere with your sleep. Try yoga, meditation, or even sitting quietly in nature. Visiting a house of worship in your area during off-hours can also provide a soothing sanctuary for your body, mind, and soul.

the biostation offers data-focused solutions

the biostation uses a data-driven approach to address sleep issues. By conducting comprehensive tests and analyses, we evaluate crucial factors that can influence sleep quality, including cortisol, IGF-1, progesterone, and pregnenolone levels. This information provides us with a detailed understanding of each patient's unique circumstances. By identifying and addressing these hormonal imbalances, the biostation can provide targeted treatments that improve sleep and contribute to overall health and well-being.

Secretagogue peptide therapy, specifically with Sermorelin and CJC/Ipamorelin, can significantly improve sleep quality. These peptides work by stimulating the body's natural production of growth hormone, which plays a crucial role in regulating our sleep cycles. Increased levels of growth hormone can lead to deeper, more restful sleep, helping individuals wake up feeling refreshed and rejuvenated.

Getting to the root of your sleep struggles can significantly improve your health and well-being. Learn more about our sleep-related services at the biostation to help you confront sleep troubles and a lack of energy. Call us today at 888-754-1852, or request a consultation. We look forward to supporting you as you improve your sleep quality and health.



Woman Sleeping by Ivan Oboleninov is licensed with Pexels License