Cognitive Changes and Sleep Disorders: What’s the Connection?

Cognitive Changes

Sleep is a necessary part of maintaining good health. Without getting seven to nine hours of quality shuteye a night, it’s impossible to reach your optimal cognitive state. People who have chronic sleep disorders, such as insomnia or obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), as a result of poor sleep hygiene or other medical conditions, remain in a state of sleep deprivation.

The Effects of Sleep Deprivation

When individuals don’t get enough quality sleep, they not only become physically and mentally fatigued, but their cognitive processes also become impaired. This leads to issues with attention, distractibility, focus, executive functioning, problem solving, and decision-making. Findings from a recent study suggest that low sleep levels can also negatively impact emotion regulation and memory, leading to higher levels of anxiety and depression.

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The Impact of Cognitive Changes on Health

Cognitive changes that result from chronic sleep deprivation can have a dramatic impact on overall health. Over time, sleep deprivation can lead to chronic inflammation, hypertension, obesity, diabetes, and an increased risk for cardiovascular issues. In addition, untreated sleep disorders can lead to a variety of conditions that make it difficult for individuals to complete day-to-day tasks or maintain relationships.

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Seeking Help to Manage Cognitive Changes and Sleep Disorders

It is clear that diagnosing and treating sleep disorders is essential for avoiding long-term cognitive and health issues. Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) can be effective for treating many sleep disorders, including insomnia and OSA. CBT can help individuals identify and modify negative thought patterns and behaviors that are having an effect on their sleep health. In addition, CBT can cue individuals in to any life stressors, environment issues, and unhealthy habits that might be hindering their sleep health.

In conclusion, it is essential to create healthy sleep habits and treat any sleep disorder as quickly as possible to maintain mental and physical health. Healthy simple changes and therapy are vast options to acquire the necessary sleep life to reach the optimal cognitive state and most importantly improve overall health.