Sleep is essential to humans since it helps regenerate the cells in our bodies. Without sleep, we would feel weak because we don’t have enough time to repair our cells and refuel our energy. We experience these effects every after we wake up from a good night’s sleep.
However, we might be aware of the deep sleep-like state of the body called the coma. Not many people experience having a coma, but for those who did, we can say that it is not a pleasing experience.Since having a coma is like being on deep sleep, some questions may arise – do we receive the effects of sleep when in a coma?
What is a coma?
First and foremost, let us look into what a coma is. A more accurate definition of a coma is – a deep state of prolonged unconsciousness wherein the person cannot be awakened. During a coma, a person cannot usually respond to painful stimuli, light, or sound, and the person cannot initiate any voluntary actions.
If a patient is in a coma, then he or she is still alive. However, the brain is functioning at the least stage of alertness. That is why no matter what stimuli they receive, it won’t be enough to wake them up.
In simple terms, when a person is under this condition, he or she is only in a deep unconscious state until some part of the brain heals and regenerates.
Do the effects of sleep apply to a person in a coma?
A person in a coma may appear like he or she is sleeping, but unable to wake up. Because of this, patients under this condition does not follow the normal sleep-wake cycle. To answer our question, a coma patient does not receive the same effects as to a person when sleeping.
As mentioned earlier, cells regenerate, and energy levels refill when a person sleeps.It is when the brain rewires itself with the help of various neurochemical processes and also dreaming. Furthermore, our body releases human growth hormone when sleeping. In contrast to these factors, a person in a coma does not regenerate cells, refuel energy, and secrete human growth hormones. The body does not perform these actions, as well as any other actions, since it is under a deep unconscious sleep.
Coma is a severe medical condition that requires immediate medical attention, and failing to do so could lead to further damages.Several factors could cause a person to suffer from this condition.
What are the causes of coma?
- Physical trauma –this is probably the most common cause of coma. It includes head injuries that are powerful enough to cause the brain to swell, or worse, bleed. One of the most known incidents of physical trauma is a traffic accident, wherein the collision creates adverse effects on the brain, and also to the body. The swelling causes the brain fluids to move up against the skull.
- Swelling –this is not only present after traumatic events. We can attribute the swelling of brain tissues to many other factors, such as lack of oxygen, imbalance in electrolytes, and hormones.
- Bleeding –similar to swelling, bleeding of the brain may also apply to non-traumatic causes. When a part of the brain bleeds, it could result in swelling and eventually ends up in a coma. Other factors of bleeding include high-blood pressure, cerebral aneurysm, and tumors.
- Stroke –this can occur to nearly any person of any age. Stroke is one of the world’s most leading causes of death, with roughly 795,000 people suffers from this condition every year. This condition cuts the flow of blood flow to the brain, which, when accompanied with swelling, it could lead to a coma.
- Blood sugar –this is common for people with diabetes. If a person’s blood sugar levels continuously stay high, it could lead to a coma – this condition is also known as hyperglycemia. On the other hand, if the blood sugar is extremely low, it could also result in a coma, which is called hypoglycemia. These effects are reversible once the sugar levels went back to normal.
Seizures –in general, a single seizure rarely results in a coma. However, if the occurrence rate of seizures is high, the person might have epilepticus, which is more prone to produce coma. After a seizure, the brain heals itself and recovers. Meaning to say, if repeated seizures occur, the brain does not have time to recover after every seizure.