Sleep is an essential feature for our health, and not getting enough sleep can have serious negative effects on health and cognitive functions like:
Problems in remembering
Shorter attention span
Impaired judgement and decision-making
Several conditions common to Spinal Cord Injury (SCI) may make sleep more difficult.
Melatonin, the hormone that regulates the sleep-wake cycle, is often reduced in persons with high-level SCI. If enough melatonin is not being made, it may be more difficult for our internal clock to reset.
Anti-diuretic hormone normally increases at night, suppressing urinary output. But in people with SCI, ADH levels often do not increase at night, so urinary output remains at daytime levels. I we need to go the bathroom more at night, our sleep gets interrupted. SCI can disrupt the body’s temperature regulation system, and since the internal thermostat determines timing of sleep onset, we may not be sleepy at the normal bedtime.
Back pain is the most common type of chronic pain problem, and is the most prevalent medical disorder in industrialized societies. Individuals with chronic back pain problems frequently report significant interference with sleep. In a recent study, it was found that approximately two-thirds of patients with chronic back pain suffered from sleep disorders. This relationship between sleep loss and gain is complex. Research has demonstrated that disrupted sleep will, in turn, increase the chronic back pain problem. Thus, a vicious cycle develops in which the back pain disrupts one’s sleep, and difficulty in sleeping makes the pain worse, which in turn makes sleeping more difficult, etc.
Neurologic disorders that effect the nervous system can interfere with sleep, making a person anxious or excited at bedtime and thus, tired and sleepy during the day.
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