What is insomnia?
To fall asleep, stay asleep, or not be able to wake up too early. This is a common condition that affects more than one-third of adults and is closely associated with poor quality of life.1,2
24 hours problem
Insomnia is considered a 24-hour problem because it not only affects the sleep experience, but also adversely affects daytime function and activity.1 Lack of good sleep is often due to daytime fatigue, poor concentration, poor mood, poor driving ability, poor work performance, diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, anxiety, depression, etc. Can cause short-term and long-term complications.1-6
* Increased risk of anxiety and depression
** Increased risk of high blood pressure, diabetes and cardiovascular disease
Insomnia and aging7,8,9
With age, the risk of insomnia increases, especially over the age of 50. This increase is thought to be due to an age-related decrease in melatonin secretion. Melatonin is a hormone secreted by the brain at night and helps regulate the daily sleep and wake cycle. Not only does aging increase the risk of developing insomnia, but chronic poor sleep actually enhances the signs of intrinsic aging: the appearance of the skin and its barrier function.
Insomnia and your weight10,11,12
Did you know that people who sleep less are on average heavier? Studies have shown that poor sleep time and quality are associated with increased weight and obesity. This is thought to be caused by the effects of sleep on certain hormones in the body. Chronic sleep deprivation leads to elevated levels of the stress hormone cortisol. This increases the craving for high-fat and high-carbohydrate foods and increases the accumulation of fat in the tummy area. Habitual sleep deprivation also results in lower leptin levels and higher ghrelin levels, leading to increased appetite and binge eating. Reducing sleep time can also simply mean more meal opportunities, especially if this wake-up time is spent snacking in front of the TV. Lack of sleep also leads to daytime fatigue, which adversely affects exercise motivation and ability, and reduces energy output. This is a vicious cycle. Studies have also shown that lack of sleep in humans lowers core body temperature. This suggests that lack of sleep can affect the energy output of thermoregulation. Ultimately, all these factors work together to gain weight and increase the risk of developing obesity.
Insomnia and your immune system13,14,15
People have long believed that loss of sleep can lead to illness, and research over the last two decades has provided strong evidence to support the general belief that sleep helps cure. Animal and human studies have shown that even long-term sleep loss and even minor sleep disorders can lead to increased body stress and inflammation and suppression of the immune system. This makes you more susceptible to infections such as colds and the flu.
Insomnia and your mind16,17,18
It’s hard to believe that sleeping less than 6 hours a night can increase your risk of heart attack and stroke, especially if your sleep quality is poor. But that’s exactly what it is. Short sleep has a negative impact on weight, blood pressure, blood lipids, and risk of diabetes. All of these increase the risk of cardiovascular disease such as heart attack and stroke. Not only that, but if you suffer from insomnia, you are also at increased risk of developing high blood pressure and heart failure. So you should ask for help, keeping in mind that you can’t sleep well.
Leptin = Hormones secreted by your fat cells that suppress your appetite
Ghrelin = Hormones secreted by the stomach that stimulate appetite
For more information on insomnia www.sleepless.co.za Download a free sleep diary.
Talk to your doctor about the only registered melatonin tablets in South Africa.
1. Wilson SJ, Nutt DJ, Alford C, Argyropoulos SV, Baldwin DS, Bateson AN, etc. A consensus statement from the British Psychopharmacology Association on evidence-based treatment of insomnia, parasomnia and circadian rhythm disorders. J Psychopharmacol 2010; 24 (11): 1577-1600.
2. Mental Health Foundation. Sleep problems: The impact of sleep on health and well-being. Mental Health Awareness Week 2011. [Online] 2011[QuotedAugust72015URL:http://wwwmentalhealthorguk/content/assets/PDF/publications/MHF-Sleep-Report-2011pdf?Availablefrom[cited2015Aug7Availablefrom:URL:http://wwwmentalhealthorguk/content/assets/PDF/publications/MHF-Sleep-Report-2011pdf?[2015年8月7日引用。URL：http：//wwwmentalhealthorguk/content/assets/PDF/publications/MHF-Sleep-Report-2011pdf？から入手可能。[cited2015Aug7Availablefrom:URL:http://wwwmentalhealthorguk/content/assets/PDF/publications/MHF-Sleep-Report-2011pdf?
3. Zisapel N. Sleep and Sleep Disorders: Biological Basis and Clinical Significance. Cell Mol Life Sci 2007; 64: 1174-1186.
4. Walsh JK. Clinical and socio-economic correlation of insomnia. J Clin Psychiatr 2004; 65 (Suppl 8): 13-19.
5. Holka-Pokorska J, Jalema M, Wichnia A. Androgens-A common biological marker for sleep disorders and selected sexual dysfunction? Psychiatr Pol 2014; 48 (4): 701-714.
6. Scott BA, Judge TA. Insomnia, emotions, and job satisfaction: multi-level studies. J Management 2006; 32 (5): 622-645.
7. Weyerer S, Dilling H. Prevalence and Treatment of Insomnia in the Community: Results of a Field Survey in Upper Bavaria. Sleep 1991; 14 (5): 392-398.
8. Disapel N. Melatonin and sleep. Neuroendocrinol J 2010; 3: Open 85-95
9. Oyetakin-White P, Suggs A, Matsui MS, Yarosh D, Cooper KD, Baron ED. Does Poor Sleep Affect Skin Aging? Clin Exp Dermatol 2015; 40 (1): 17-22.
10. Hargens TA, Kaleth AS, Edwards ES, Buner KL. Relationship between sleep disorders, obesity, and exercise: reviews. Nat Sci Sleep 2013; 5: 27-35.
11. Taheri S, Lin L, Austin D, Young T, Mignot E. Short sleep time is associated with a decrease in leptin, an increase in ghrelin, and an increase in body mass index. PLos Med 2004; 4 (3): e62.
12. Patel SR, HuFB. Short sleep time and weight gain: a systematic review. Obesity 2008; 16 (3): 643-653.
13. Savard J, Laroche L, Simard S, Ivers H, Morin CM. Chronic insomnia and immune function. Psychosomat Med 2013; 65: 211-221.
14. Besedovsky L, Lange T, Born J. Sleep and immune function. Pflugers Arch Eur J Physiol 2012; 463: 121-137.
15. Irwin M, Mcclintick J, Costlow C, Fortner M, White J, Gillin JC Partial night sleep deprivation reduces human natural killer cells and cell-mediated immune response. FASEB J 1996; 10: 643-653.
16. Hoevenaar-Blom MP, Spijkerman AMW, van den Berg JF, Verschuren WMM. Sleep time and quality associated with the incidence of cardiovascular disease over 12 years: MORGEN study. Sleep 2011; 34 (11): 1487-1492
17. Laugsand LE, Strand LB, Platou C, Vatten LJ, Janszky I. Risk of insomnia and accidental heart failure: Census. Eur Heart J 2013. DOI: http: //dx.doi.org/10.1093/eurheartj/eht019
18. Bansil P, Kuclina EV, Merritt RK, Yoon PK. Relationship between sleep disorders, sleep time, sleep quality, and high blood pressure: Results of the 2005-2008 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. JClinHypertens2011; 13: 739-743.
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