Cognitive and Psychological Consequences of Insomnia
Whatever the cause, insomnia results in sleepiness, fatigue, and cognitive impairment. Having poor sleep leads to a sleep deficit that has heavy consequences in our daily lives. Excessive sleepiness has been linked to learning disabilities in children. It is also linked to cognitive and memory problems in adults. Research shows that the reason for the lack of sleep doesn’t effect the outcome. The cognitive impairment is consistent regardless of age, associated diagnosis or gender.
Insomnia and its associated daytime sleepiness has significant negative effects on cognitive functioning and impairs our ability to perform ordinary daily tasks. Those with insomnia scored significantly lower on cognitive tests than those without insomnia, thereby reflecting problems with concentration, memory, reasoning, and problem solving.
Those with insomnia are more likely to suffer major depression and anxiety than those without insomnia. Similar elevated risks were found for substance use disorder. For those that have a mental health diagnosis, insomnia is likely to make the symptoms worse.
Insomnia does not just effect our work performance. It effects every aspect of our lives. Because of that, it is essential that insomnia be addressed and sleep be improved. It is the most important thing that you can do to have a high quality of life.