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SleepExpertMartin1016 karma

People who sleep less than 7 hours a night seem to have more health issues over all. If you are sleepy during the day (or can’t function without staying active or stimulated with caffeine), you probably need more sleep. In general, regularly getting less than 7 hours of sleep per night can lead to decreased cognitive function, trouble concentrating, headaches and general moodiness. Sleep deficiency can alter activity in some parts of the brain, so people may have trouble making decisions, solving problems, controlling emotions and behavior, and coping with change, and they may be more easily distracted and less likely to catch and correct mistakes. Sleep loss adversely affects neurobehavioral function leading to excessive daytime fatigue and sleepiness, which increase the risk of accidents caused by human error. Cognitive and motor performance impairments from sleep deprivation are comparable to those induced by alcohol consumption at or above the legal limit. Studies have shown that those in relationships who consistently experience poor sleep are more likely to engage in conflict with their partners. Sleep loss also decreases levels of empathetic accuracy – meaning study participants were less able to understand or interpret their partners’ feelings. Virtually all forms of sleep deprivation result in increased negative mood states, especially feelings of fatigue, loss of vigor, sleepiness and confusion. Bottom line: for many people, insufficient sleep has negative effects on our mood, behavior, alertness and performance.

SleepExpertMartin917 karma

Consumer products can be helpful in tracking your sleep habits and behaviors, and giving you a good estimate about how much you sleep at night. These devices are not very accurate when it comes to determining what stage of sleep you are in (e.g., whether you are in REM sleep, deep sleep or light sleep). These devices generally rely on movement and/or heart rate, so anything that can impact heart rate might make the devices less accurate too.

SleepExpertMartin406 karma

If this is an occasional problem, the best thing to do is let it go, and avoid the cycle of one bad night leading to stress the following night. If your sleep problem is chronic - meaning it goes on for more than three months and occurs more than 3 nights a week, it might be best to reach out to a healthcare provider for help. The best treatment for chronic insomnia is a treatment called cognitive-behavioral therapy for insomnia or “CBT-I”. You can learn more about CBT-I at: https://sleepeducation.org/patients/cognitive-behavioral-therapy/. There are also tips about healthy sleep in general on this website.

SleepExpertMartin246 karma

The bottom line is that it’s never too late to get sleep apnea treated. While it is possible that there are some lingering effects of untreated sleep apnea, the good news is that studies show the damaging effects of sleep apnea can be stopped, and even reversed, through treatment with a CPAP. Make sure to keep using your CPAP device!

SleepExpertMartin243 karma

digitulgurl · 20 min. ago

I always wake up at pretty much the same time every night and can usually fall back asleep. My dad does the same thing. Is there anything to do to make it stop?

There are some parts of the world where napping is the cultural norm. In fact, having a “siesta” is not a problem unless you are struggling with your sleep at night. If this schedule works for you, you should stick to it (as long as you can protect your afternoon nap and don’t get tempted by other activities). If you struggle with sleep, skipping the nap can help increase your internal sleepiness and lead to longer sleep at night.