Yes, insomnia can affect our immunity. Who don't get quality sleep or enough sleep are more likely to get sick. Lack of sleep can also affect how fast you recover if you do get sick. So, your body needs sleep to fight infectious diseases. Long-term lack of sleep also increases your risk of obesity, diabetes, and heart and blood vessel (cardiovascular) disease. The loss of sleep is a common problem in modern society, affecting many individuals at some point in their lives.
Causes of sleep deprivation include medical problems such as stress, depression, obstructive sleep apnea, hormone imbalances, and other chronic illnesses etc. Although occasional sleep interruptions are generally no more than a nuisance, ongoing lack of sleep can lead to excessive daytime sleepiness, emotional difficulties, poor job performance, obesity and a lowered perception of quality of life.
The main symptom of on-going sleep loss is excessive daytime sleepiness, but other symptoms include: Yawning, Moodiness, Fatigue, Irritability,Depressed mood, Difficulty learning new concepts, Forgetfulness, Inability to concentrate, Lack of motivation, Clumsiness, Increased appetite and carbohydrate cravings, Reduced sex drive.
According to Ayurveda, Lack of Nidra causes many sign and symptoms like Dukha, Karshyata, Balahani, Agnyanata even Mrityu. Sleep deprivation can negatively affect a range of systems in the body.
It can have the following impact:·
- increased risk of chronic illness.
- increased risk of new and advanced respiratory diseases.
- causes the release of insulin, which leads to increased fat storage and a higher risk of type 2 diabetes.
- increases the risk of cardiovascular disease.
- Insufficient sleep can affect hormone production, including growth hormones and testosterone in men.
The National Sleep Foundation (NSF) 2015 recommendations for appropriate sleep durations for specific age groups are:
- Newborns (0 to 3 months): 14 to 17 hours each day
- Infants (4 to 11 months): 12 to 15 hours
- Toddlers (1 to 2 years): 11 to 14 hours
- Preschoolers (3 to 5 years): 10 to 13 hours
- School-age children (6 to 13 years): 9 to 11 hours
- Teenagers (14 to 17 years): 8 to 10 hours
- Adults (18 to 64 years): 7 to 9 hours
- Older adults (over 65 years): 7 to 8 hours
There are two main avenues of treatment for sleep deprivation:
Relaxation techniques: Pranayam, Dhyan ,Yoga Asana and Mudras
Procedures: Naturopathy, Panchakarma- Shirodhara , ShiroPichu, Shiroabhyanga, Shiro basti, Abhyanga Swedana, Nasya
Medications: Ashwagandha, Tagar, Jatamansi,Brahmi, Shankhpushpi, Sarpagandha, etc can be used as single drugs or in the form of classical and patent ayurvedic formulations. These are effective and safe for our body in every sense if taken in appropriate dose under medical supervision. Some people form dependency on sleeping medications. It is important to limit the dosage and try to follow ayurvedic principles and treatment.