What Happens Without Sleep

Over time, lack of sleep can seriously impact our lives, with the ability to perform daily tasks becoming limited or impaired. This includes our cognitive and reasoning abilities, our decision making capacity and even our judgment. Additionally, chronic lack of sleep has been associated with a number of medical conditions or dangerous situations that can also impinge upon our overall health and well-being.

  • Obesity: Evidence suggests that those who don’t get adequate sleep are at a greater risk for weight gain. This is especially true for children. Apparently, lack of sleep may increase hunger, result in less healthy eating times and food choices, decrease exercise or physical activity due to low energy levels and reduce body temperature (which also decreases energy).
  • Depression: The relationship between depression and sleep disorders is really a chicken and egg kind of problem, as it’s difficult to tell which comes first. Insomnia, for instance, may be caused by depression. However, with sleep apnea, some studies have suggested that there may be a decrease in depression once the sleep apnea is addressed. Either way, it does appear that there is a connection between sleep disorders and depression.
  • Diabetes: Sleep apnea has been shown to be more common with those diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes, and research has pointed to changes in glucose production with lack of sleep. Additionally, many individuals with Type 2 Diabetes struggle with obesity, which is also a risk factor for both sleep apnea and diabetes.
  • Cardiovascular disease: With sleep apnea, breathing may be interrupted and then start again with a snort or a gasp. During the pause in breathing, oxygen levels drop and blood pressure rises. When this process occurs frequently throughout the night, it may start to carry over into the daytime resulting in higher blood pressure during the day as well.
  • Car accidents: Driving drowsy and falling asleep at the wheel of a car due to lack of sleep is a dangerous problem that could result in a serious car wreck. In fact, a National Sleep Foundation study from 2005 determined that about 60 percent of adult drivers had driven while feeling drowsy, and more than one-third had actually fallen asleep at the wheel. Additionally, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has estimated that fatigued drivers account for 100,000 police-reported crashes each year.

Sleep Disorder Treatment in the Tampa Bay Area

BayCare is proud to offer many Sleep Disorders Centers throughout the Tampa Bay area so that individuals with sleep disorders can be properly diagnosed and treated. 

For more information or a physician referral, call (888) 906-8935.