HELPING US SLEEP

More than one-third of American adults do not get enough sleep on a regular basis according to the Center for Disease Control. In fact, it’s now a public health epidemic, with research linking a lack of shut-eye to a number of health-related problems. Cognitive functions can be impaired, making us more likely to overreact. Our emotional intelligence is degraded, so we’re also more likely to be irritable. There’s even research connecting sleep deprivation to mental health problems and depression.

Commonly referred to as insomnia, sleep issues can be caused by difficulty falling asleep, difficulty staying asleep or waking up too early in the morning. Insomnia is rarely an isolated medical or mental illness but rather usually a symptom of another illness. It’s therefore no surprise that how well we sleep has direct impact on physical and mental health. Sleep problems can often be a common symptom of various behavioral illnesses, including anxiety, depression, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

As many of our Ascension and Trinity Health physicians will attest, sleep deprivation can be associated with numerous health issues. Research shows that not getting enough sleep, or getting poor-quality sleep, increases the risk of high blood pressure, heart disease, obesity, and diabetes.

One convenient alternative for the chronically shut-eye challenged, is virtual behavioral therapy. Cognitive therapy can help control or eliminate negative thoughts and worries that might be what’s keeping you awake. Virtual care is an easy step you can take to get professional assistance.