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Sleep Disorders Damage the Brain

A vicious cycle can result from brain injuries and sleep disorders. Brain injuries can lead to sleep disorders and sleep deprivation leads to the problems associated with brain damage. Some symptoms of brain injuries and sleep disorders are the same. Treating sleep disorders in individuals with brain damage can help alleviate the symptoms of brain damage. To achieve this, you first need to understand sleep disorders.

A study revealed that mild brain damage may increase the possibility of acquiring a sleep disorder called Circadian rhythm (CRSD). This disorder is not merely insomnia. It is a disturbance in an individual’s sleep cycle. Insomnia means being unable to fall asleep or stay asleep, and can be a side-effect of CRSD. CRSD pertains to the sleep cycle of a person.

When CRSD is mistaken as insomnia, patients are prescribed with sedatives. This entails that the cycle problem is not recognized. The cycle of sleeping is controlled certain hormones that make you drowsy or awake. While sedatives aid a person to fall sleep, they will not correct the release of hormones.

Immediate problems caused by CRSD:

  • Being irritable
  • Cognitive problems
  • Insomnia
  • Exhaustion
  • Headaches
  • Digestive Problems

Long-term effects of CRSD:

  • Being depressed
  • Feeling antisocial
  • Hyperactivity
  • Having difficulty learning

In some CRSD types, the treatment can merely be adjusting your sleep schedule. However, not all people have that option. Other types of CRSD are difficult to treat.

Circadian rhythm sleep disorders can lead to brain problems

Insomnia can merely be a side-effect of Circadian Rhythm Sleep Disorder or Brain Injuries


Delayed Sleep Phase
People who are referred to as “owls” more likely have Delayed Sleep Phase Disorder. Most people suffer from this disorder, but do not realize that staying up late is not merely a preference. Hormones for sleepiness and wakefulness are produced in normal amounts, but they are not released until later than when they should be. People with CRSD delayed sleep phase do not become sleepy until very later at night, and in the morning they are still drowsy. The good news for those with this disorder is that they can get good sleep and proper rest by simply adjusting their schedule to accommodate their sleep cycle.

Advanced Sleep Phase
Those with this disorder are regarded as “Early birds”, however, it is again not a matter of preference that they wake up early. This disorder is the exact opposite of Delayed Sleep Phase and it cause a person to become sleep during the afternoon. For early birds, like owls, adjusting their sleeping schedule to accommodate their body is a viable option.

Non-24 hour sleep cycle
A person with this disorder has a sleep cycle which is constantly changing. It is much more difficult to deal with this disorder.

Cycle Sleep 
The sleep cycle occurs at irregularly, often resulting in only short periods of sleep and extreme drowsiness during waking hours. Cycle Sleep is also very challenging to treat.

Amplitude Circadian Rhythm Disorder
When the body does not release the needed hormones, you can not get enough sleep and/or never really feel awake and alert. This can not be treated by just adjusting your cycle. Consulting a doctor would be the best option.

2 Comments

  1. i didn’t think sleep disorders or lack of sleep would damage the brain, i figured you can just catch up with sleep later

  2. that’s pretty serious stuff, I guess we should take sleep disorders a lot more seriously than we currently do

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