Insomnia can have serious effects on physical and mental health in relation to the type of insomnia. In children and adults insomnia can produce more depression than any other condition.
Even modest alterations or disturbances in sleeping patterns can affect significantly a person’s behavior and mood.
Effects of insomnia
* Insomnia often causes mild or severe headaches that occur during the night or early in the morning.
* It can develop mood disorders like depression and anxiety.
* It greatly affects decision-making abilities.
* It increases hypertension, slurred speech and tremors.
* It can impair memory and judgment. Without adequate rest, the brain’s ability to process information deteriorates. The brain works harder to counteract sleep deprivation effects, but operates less effectively: concentration levels drop, and memory becomes impaired.
* It can create difficulty in keeping concentration to learn new things or perform daily tasks. Studies reported that missing only 2 – 3 hours of sleep every night for a week significantly impairs performance and mood
* It increases irritability and poorer relationships.
* Insufficient sleep can also cause people to have hallucinations
* It reduces the ability of the immune system to prevent illness.
* People with chronic insomnia have a higher risk of automobile accidents. Insomnia endangers public safety by contributing to traffic and industrial accidents. Sleepiness causes as many as 200,000 automobile accidents in the U.S. and 1,500 deaths from such accidents.
* It impairs quality life. Surveys show that people with severe insomnia have a quality of life that is almost as poor as those who have chronic conditions, such as heart failure.
* One study reported that people with chronic insomnia had signs of heart and nervous system activity that might put them at risk for heart disease. Chronic insomnia may increase the risk of coronary heart disease. And it increases the risk of heart attacks in elderly people.
* Lack of sleep can cause weight gain and obesity.
* It can develop dependence on alcohol or other drugs.
Insomnia costs the U.S. an estimated $100 billion each year in medical costs and decreased productivity.