Imagine being a success at other challenges in life that require effort, like school and work, but not being able to succeed in something that’s supposed to come naturally: sleep. Insomnia sufferers rarely get the sleep they need, and this can affect their overall health.
The more obvious effects of insomnia, a type of sleep disorder, are drowsiness and fatigue. When the body is overly tired, it can affect how people deal with everyday activities. The National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute gives driving as an example. When people drive while tired, there is a greater chance of car accidents. The lack of sleep or other sleep problems like insomnia can contribute to this.
One recent study found that college undergraduates at one university who had “poor sleep quality,” like insomnia and “general morning tiredness,” had “health risk behaviors” associated with that poor sleep quality. Some examples include “fighting, suicide ideation, smoking and alcohol use.”
Another study focusing on chronic insomnia in adolescents found that “chronic insomnia severely impacts future health and functioning of youths. Those with chronic insomnia are more likely to seek medical care.”
If those study results don’t prove enough, the National Sleep Foundation (NSF) Web site states that “inadequate sleep can result in fatigue, depression, concentration problems, illness and injury.”
The NSF recognizes that some people just “skimp out” on sleep due to work and schooling, but whether people are intentionally depriving themselves of sleep or are unable to sleep when they desire, the lack of sleep is a major problem.
Sleep is necessary in order to live, and no sleep at all can sometimes lead to death, like in fatal familial insomnia. This is a human prion disease, which are “progressive neurodegenerative disorders,” according to the Centers for Disease Control.
Fatal familial insomnia is rare, and a Washington Post article talked about an Italian family who carried the gene that caused the rogue protein disorder and sleeplessness.