Sleep Deprivation Makes It Difficult to Suppress Unwanted Thoughts 

July 1, 2023
Woman sitting on bed, unhappy expression on her face

Virtually everyone experiences unwanted thoughts from time to time. Many people are able to quickly dismiss those thoughts and move on with their day. Some individuals, though, find it much more challenging to control their thinking. Why is that the case? It may have to do with sleep. In fact, research indicates that sleep deprivation makes it difficult to suppress unwanted thoughts. Are you curious to learn more about this connection and about how sleep apnea therapy may be able to help? Continue reading this blog post.

Sleep Deprivation and Unwanted Thoughts

A study conducted by the University of New York asked 60 participants to view images that they had been conditioned to associate with negative thoughts. Some of them did so after a complete night of rest, while others did so after a night of sleep deprivation.

The people who did not sleep well experienced an increase in unwanted thoughts of almost 50% compared to those who were able to get a full night of sleep. The individuals who slept well could view the images in a more positive light and exhibited a lower sweat response.

This study provides a bit of insight into why humans can find it easy to control their thoughts sometimes but much more difficult on other occasions.

It also suggests an unfortunate reality for individuals with sleep disorders or mental health problems. Such individuals may frequently miss out on sleep, causing them to have negative thoughts. Negative thoughts, in turn, can interfere with nighttime rest. This vicious cycle is not easy to get out of. Fortunately, treatments are available that can help.

Improving the Quality and Quantity of Your Sleep

If you often struggle with unwanted thoughts, you may need professional mental health care.

However, it is also possible that poor quality sleep is the primary cause of your problem. If you suspect that may be the case, talk to your doctor or a sleep dentist. They can help you arrange for official testing.

You might discover that you have sleep apnea, a disorder that is characterized by repeated interruptions in breathing. These episodes, known as apneas, interfere with the sleep cycle and make it nearly impossible for a person to get an adequate amount of high-quality rest.

The good news is that sleep apnea is usually easy to treat. You might need something as simple as a custom oral appliance, which can gently reposition your jaw so you can breathe without disruptions while you are asleep.

Unwanted thoughts due to sleep deprivation can suck the enjoyment out of your life. Take steps to improve the quality of your nightly rest so you can achieve a more positive outlook on life.

Meet the Practice

Under the leadership of Dr. Kenneth Mogell, Florida Dental Sleep Disorders offers oral appliance therapy for sleep apnea. If you are concerned about the quality of your sleep, our team is ready to guide you on your path toward relief. Use our website to contact any of our locations, or call our Boca Raton office at 561-353-5252.