Sleep patterns point to problems
May 21, 2014
If a quick daytime nap does wonders to ease fatigue, then it’s possibly a sign poor sleep is preventing you from getting the best out of your eight hours in bed, according to sleep medicine expert Jack Philpott.
Based at Hollywood Private Hospital and dealing predominantly with obstructive sleep apnoea, restless legs syndrome and insomnia, he said quality sleep served an important restorative function both mentally and physically.
“So if you are not sleeping well, it affects how you think, concentration, memory and you can become more irritable and short tempered,” Dr Philpott said.
“And we now think that depression and poor sleep are probably linked. A lot of people who go on to report depression will report poor sleep, many years before they developed depression. And if you have depression and you are a poor sleeper and you are not sleeping enough, then you are more likely to relapse because of your depression and your risk of suicide is higher.
“The reason why a lot of people think that may happen is because of problems with REM sleep — which is dreaming sleep — is quite important in the way you emotionally handle things and for your emotional memory processing.”
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