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Modern epidemic; the depths of sleep deprivation
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  • Posted by: cbtkeadmin

Modern epidemic; the depths of sleep deprivation – By Lambert Oigara, Consultant Clinical Psychologist

The issue of sleep deprivation remains widespread, often normalized despite its profound impact on our well-being. Throughout history, the importance of sleep has been evident, with figures like Charles Dickens, Thomas Edison, and Abraham Lincoln sharing their struggles and innovative coping mechanisms.

Recent studies show that one in four individuals worldwide, wrestle with sleep disorders or related issues. Further, less than a third of this seek professional assistance- older adults and those facing psychiatric or learning challenges are particularly vulnerable to this.

Also, city dwellers, those who live in noisy neighborhoods, use artificial light- artificial light affects sleep patterns-, work longer hours, have a high pressure job, are in stressful relationships, work from home, live and work in a different time zone are all susceptible to the risk of sleep deprivation.

In the face of digital migration, information about sleep and its health implications is readily available. However, applying this knowledge has proven challenging, as illustrated by self-help resources offering simplistic solutions. Various factors contribute to sleep insufficiency, including urban living, excessive screen time, demanding jobs, and stressful relationships. Reactions to stressors such as panic and anxiety attacks resulting from difficult life events can cause sleep deprivation. Experiencing loss can also make someone sleep deprived. Pregnancy, new births and post-partum depression can throw someone into a negative pattern of thinking and worrying.

Declined financial capacity and strained relationships with superiors at work can worsen the situation. Uncertainties about job security also leads to sleep deprivation, anxiety and alcohol abuse. We establish that shame and guilt can be an advent of the pressure of what may culminate in a very long period of suffering from sleep disorder. Easy access to information encourages self-diagnosis, but the reality is often more complex. Many discover that addressing sleep problems requires a thorough assessment, similar to a medical test for diagnosing an illness.

Individuals struggling with sleep often experience racing thoughts, anxiety, and fatigue, resorting to distractions like work or alcohol to induce sleep. Yet, these are temporary fixes that exacerbate the underlying issues. Most people with sleep disorders may report they are overthinking or have negative thought patterns that cause migraines at night. They worry excessively about events of the day or future, they feel low in moods, are fatigued and fearful of long term effects of sleep deprivation. Others resort to work, read, play video games or surf the internet.

A downward spiral into alcohol and drug dependency and mental distress stems from unresolved stressors, highlighting the intricate relationship between sleep and mental health; thus, the severity of sleep deprivation. Diagnosing sleep-related problems can be challenging, especially when underlying issues are concealed. In such cases, seeking professional help is crucial for understanding and addressing the root causes. In addition, the journey to overcoming sleep deprivation begins with acknowledging its complexity and seeking appropriate support. By prioritizing sleep health, individuals can reclaim their well-being and vitality.

Author: cbtkeadmin
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