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Disease & Sleep Deprivation

When it comes to staying well and living a healthy life, one of the most important things you can do is take care of your oral health. Having said that, there is one more thing as important as your teeth when it comes to living well: sleep. When we have enough sleep, human beings tend to function well and think more clearly than when we don’t. In fact, there is a direct correlation between how much sleep we get and how healthy we are. If we do not get enough sleep, then we tend to be far less healthy than when we get plenty of rest. With that in mind, let’s take a look at disease and sleep deprivation.

Importance of Sleep

Many individuals like to brag that they only need a few hours of sleep a night, but the science behind sleeping and why it is important to our bodies and minds would disagree. Human beings need adequate sleep at night, and the accepted number of hours is closer to six than it is three or four. In general, you need at least six hours of sleep to be considered fully rested, and even then, it might not be quite enough depending upon the person in question. If you fail to get the kind of sleep that you need, your body and mind will suffer the consequences fairly quickly.

Disease and Sleep Deprivation

Because there is such a strong link between sleep and good health, it is not surprising that there is an equally strong link between sleep and ill-health. In general, a lack of sleep has been correlated with an increased risk of the following:

•  Hypertension
•  Diabetes
•  Obesity
•  Depression
•  Anxiety
•  Stress

Note that this is, of course, referring to sleep that is chronically lacking, not someone who simply fails to get a good night’s rest now and then. The problems begin to kick in once you consistently fail to get enough sleep, on a long-term basis. This can increase things like your anxiety or stress levels, both of which have their effects on your physical health. Stress, in particular, can be devastating to your physical health should it be chronic in nature.


What happens if you find yourself unable to sleep? The most important thing you can do is to contact a doctor and go in for a checkup. Speak with the doctor about your sleeping problems, and ask for their opinions and advice. Should they rule out obvious factors and you are still unable to sleep, then you might want to start looking at other potential issues like sleep apnea, particularly if you fall asleep but wake up and feel as though have not gotten any sleep at all. Sometimes sleep disorders have few symptoms aside from the inability to sleep, so it is important that you try a variety of options.

When you come in regularly to see us at Pickens Family Dentistry, you can rest assured that we will take good care of you and ensure that your teeth do not become yet another thing to worry about when you are trying to rest. Call us today at (360) 254-6411.
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Dr. Drue Pickens
Pickens Family Dentistry

7508 NE Vancouver Mall Dr.
Vancouver, WA 98662

Phone: (360) 254-6411
Fax: (360) 944-5952

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