People Who Lack Sufficient Sleep May Experience Problems With Concentration
You may find it difficult to concentrate if you havent had enough sleep. A lack of sleep can affect your concentration and make it harder for you to focus on tasks that need completing. It is recommended that adults get around eight hours of sleep a night, however, this isnt always possible due to the factors such as work or family life.
Not getting sufficient sleep will eventually catch up with you and lead to poor concentration levels throughout your day-to-day routine which can have a negative impact on some aspects of daily tasks requiring thinking power. Make sure you maintain good sleeping habits by going to bed at roughly the same time every night so your body gets used to being tired at particular times during the evening, even if you dont want to sleep straight away!
What Night Owls Can Do
Your chronotype may be ingrained in your DNA, says Knutson, but that doesnt mean you cant change it. About 50% is genetic, but that leaves another 50% where theres opportunity for shifting your clock, she says. But it does require vigilance and consistency with your schedule, which can be a challenge to maintain.
Night owls can gradually acclimate themselves to an earlier bedtime by turning in a few minutes earlier every night, she says. Its also important to avoid bright light at night, and to wake up at the same time every day.
Exposing yourself to bright light first thing in the morning can also help reprogram the brain to wake upand subsequently fall asleepearlier, says Dr. Varga. You can also ask your doctor about taking melatonin, a synthetic version of the brains sleep-inducing hormone, key in regulating your internal clock.
But will shifting the bodys natural chronotype actually protect against some of the health risks of being a night owl? We dont know the answer to that yet, and thats where the research needs to go next, says Knutson.
For now, I think its most important for night owls to recognize that there are health problems associated with their lifestyle, she adds. They seem to be more vulnerable to the consequences of a less healthy lifestyle, so they need to be even more vigilant about making smart choices.
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Sleep And Heart Attacks
A heart attack, also known as myocardial infarction, happens when the flow of blood to the heart gets blocked. Heart attacks can be fatal because of the damage that occurs when the heart does not get enough oxygen.
Sleep deprivation heightens the risk of heart attacks. In one study, people sleeping less than six hours per night had a 20% higher chance of a heart attack. While the NREM sleep stage helps the heart slow down and recover, REM sleep involves heightened stress and activity. Insufficient sleep can throw off the balance of these stages, increasing heart attack risk.
Sleep interruptions have also been linked to the potential for heart attacks. Because both heart rate and blood pressure can abruptly spike upon awakening, frequent sleep disruptions can cause cardiac stress and may induce a heart attack.
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The Hidden Costs Of Insufficient Sleep
Sleep is often one of the first things to go when people feel pressed for time. Many view sleep as a luxury and think that the benefits of limiting the hours they spend asleep outweigh the costs. People often overlook the potential long-term health consequences of insufficient sleep, and the impact that health problems can ultimately have on one’s time and productivity.
Many of the costs of poor sleep go unnoticed. Medical conditions, such as obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease, develop over long periods of time and result from a number of factors, such as genetics, poor nutrition, and lack of exercise. Insufficient sleep has also been linked to these and other health problems, and is considered an important risk factor. Although scientists have just begun to identify the connections between insufficient sleep and disease, most experts have concluded that getting enough high-quality sleep may be as important to health and well-being as nutrition and exercise.
Sleep Deprivation and Disease RiskDr. Lawrence J. Epstein discusses the relationship between sleep deprivation and disease risk.
Your Skin Ages More Rapidly
Staying up late doesn’t just affect your body on the inside. According to a 2007 study published in the journal Sleep, women who didn’t get enough sleep showed increased signs of aging skin, including reduced elasticity, more fine lines, and a reduced ability to heal from sunburns.
As Joshua Zeichner, director of cosmetic and clinical research in dermatology at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City, explained to Allure, our cortisol levels naturally decrease when we sleep. Since this hormone helps the skin regenerate and repair, losing sleep can significantly contribute to signs of aging in your skin, including “inflammation along with skin-barrier dysfunction, leading to lack of hydration.” And if you’re eager to look more radiant, then check out these 13 Creepy Skin Care Routines That Actually Work.
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Treatment For Sleep Deprivation
The most basic form of sleep deprivation treatment is getting an adequate amount of sleep, typically 7 to 9 hours each night.
This is often easier said than done, especially if youve been deprived of precious shut-eye for several weeks or longer. After this point, you may need help from your doctor or a sleep specialist who, if needed, can diagnose and treat a possible sleep disorder.
Sleep disorders may make it difficult to get quality sleep at night. They may also increase your risk for the above effects of sleep deprivation on the body.
The following are some of the most common types of sleep disorders:
- circadian rhythm disorders
To diagnose these conditions, your doctor may order a sleep study. This is traditionally conducted at a formal sleep center, but now there are options to measure your sleep quality at home, too.
If youre diagnosed with a sleep disorder, you may be given medication or a device to keep your airway open at night to help combat the disorder so you can get a better nights sleep on a regular basis.
The best way to prevent sleep deprivation is to make sure you get adequate sleep. Follow the recommended guidelines for your age group, which is 7 to 9 hours for most adults ages 18 to 64.
Other ways you can get back on track with a healthy sleep schedule include:
Why Is Sleep Important
Sleep plays a vital role in good health and well-being throughout your life. Getting enough quality sleep at the right times can help protect your mental health, physical health, quality of life, and safety.
The way you feel while you’re awake depends in part on what happens while you’re sleeping. During sleep, your body is working to support healthy brain function and maintain your physical health. In children and teens, sleep also helps support growth and development.
The damage from sleep deficiency can occur in an instant , or it can harm you over time. For example, ongoing sleep deficiency can raise your risk for some chronic health problems. It also can affect how well you think, react, work, learn, and get along with others.
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Are There Different Types Of Sleep Deprivation
Sleep deprivation and sleep insufficiency may be categorized in different ways depending on a persons circumstances.
- Acute sleep deprivation refers to a short period, usually a few days or less, when a person has a significant reduction in their sleep time.
- Chronic sleep deprivation, also known as insufficient sleep syndrome, is defined by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine as curtailed sleep that persists for three months or longer.
- Chronic sleep deficiency or insufficient sleep can describe ongoing sleep deprivation as well as poor sleep that occurs because of sleep fragmentation or other disruptions.
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Terrible Side Effects Of Not Getting Enough Sleep In Your 20s
Your 20s are full of new jobs and dates and trips and parties and mistakes that you can fix in your 30s. And there’s basically no time for sleep.
Unfortunately, late nights don’t just make morning suck. When you keep not getting enough sleep, it can affect your body in the long run. (The American Academy of Sleep Medicine recommends between 7 and 9 hours of sleep per night for adults.
Experts are just beginning to understand how sleep affects just about everything you do. But they do suggest you look out for these scary side effects of skimping on sleep in your 20s:
1. Increased risk of disease: In a recent study involving more than 54,000 adults, researchers found that people who sleep less than six hours per night were significantly more likely to have heart disease or diabetes, have suffered a stroke, or be obese, even after researchers adjusted the results for other known risk factors.
2. Heightened blood pressure: Sleep loss stresses out your body and mind in a way that causes your blood pressure to spike. Over time, this could damage your heart, arteries, kidneys, and even bring about stroke, loss of vision, and a host of other health problems you seriously don’t want.
5. Greater risk of death: People who sleep less than five hours per night are 15 percent more likely to die from literally any cause, according to data from three massive studies. So yes, going to bed too late could eventually kill you.
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Dangerous Effects Of Sleeping Late
Many people sleep late at nights. Some watch their favorite movie, some party, some read books and so on instead of sleeping. These habits should be avoided at late nights.
According to National Sleep Foundation, an average adult needs seven to nine hours of sleep every night. Getting sleep for six hours or less a night can actually put your health in danger. One night of less sleep doesnt affect your health, but a week can. Research suggests that people, who got less sleep for a week, were at an increased risk of developing some serious problems.
This article focuses on the harmful effects of sleeping late.
Sleeping Too Much And Heart Health
The impacts of sleep deprivation on heart health receive considerable attention, but many studies have also found associations between sleeping too much, generally defined as more than nine hours per night, and cardiovascular problems.
While more research is needed, many experts believe that underlying health conditions that cause excess sleep are also the cause of this higher rate of heart issues. Nevertheless, this data is a reminder that its a myth that more sleep is always better.
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Sleep Deficiency And Eating Behaviors
Epidemiological studies show that insufficient sleep is independently associated with a higher risk of obesity. Clinical studies of of sleep-restricted adults show an increased hunger and calorie intake when participants are allowed free access to food. A preference for late evening or nighttime food intake and increased snacking has been observed. There also appears to be a food preference for higher carbohydrate and fat foods, which could partly explain the overall higher calorie intake.
Changes in hormone levels that signal either hunger or satiety have also been observed in clinical sleep restriction studies. Leptin is a hormone associated with satisfaction. When food enters the stomach, leptin is released from fat cells and travels to the brain where it signals the body to stop eating by creating a sensation of fullness. People with obesity may actually have very high levels of leptin the more body fat one has, the more leptin is produced in fat cells. However, a condition called leptin resistance may occur in which the brain does not receive the usual signal from leptin to stop eating. In response, more and more leptin is released. Lower leptin levels as well as high leptin levels suggesting leptin resistance have been observed in sleep-deprived adults.
Lack Of Sleep Can Affect Your Memory
When you dont sleep enough youll start forgetting things. Even when you sleep, if its disturbed sleep then your memory will suffer even more because that sleep is not restful enough to give your brain the ability to absorb information and recall memories.
- Lack of sleep can affect how well you remember things in short term memory.
- The hippocampus part of our brain which stores new memories gets affected by lack of sleep so we dont retain as much information.
- It also affects long term memory retention all those important dates or events wont be remembered properly if there isnt enough sleep involved in the process.
- If sleep deprivation lasts for a long time it can cause mood disorders and depression, which makes sense because sleep is so important to our mental health.
- Lack of sleep affects the ability to think clearly and react quickly.
- It takes longer to do things like understanding what you read or driving your car when you miss out on sleep and this can become dangerous.
- It affects your metabolism and makes you feel hungry more often because sleep deprivation puts the body in a state of stress.
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Night Owls Get Less Sleep
Speaking of the amount of sleep you get: Night owls also tend to get less overall than those who are early-to-bed, early-to-rise. If you cant fall asleep until 2 or 3 in the morning and you have to be at work at 9, youre not going to be able to get as much good-quality sleep as you really should, says Dr. Varga.
Night owls with weekday jobs tend to make up for some of that lost sleep on the weekends, when they can sleep in. But research suggests that this type of sleep debt isnt that easy to catch up onand that shifting your sleep schedule on the weekends may come with health risks of its own.
Lack Of Sleep Negatively Affects Your Digestive System
Wondering why you cant lose weight or you tend to eat too much at meals? Lack of sleep affects the hormones that control hunger and feelings of fullness. These hormones, leptin and ghrelin, tell your brain when youve had enough to eat. But, when you dont get enough sleep, your brain produces less of these hormones, so you eat more or snack late at night.
On top of producing less leptin and ghrelin, your body produces more insulin than you need after you eat. Higher insulin levels promote the storage of fat and increase your risk of developing Type 2 diabetes. To make matters worse, chronically sleep-deprived adults are usually too tired to exercise, exacerbating your inability to lose weight.
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How Is Sleep Deprivation Diagnosed
Doctors can often diagnose sleep deprivation by discussing a patients symptoms and sleep patterns. This may involve reviewing a sleep diary or taking a sleep questionnaire that offers a detailed look at sleep patterns and daytime symptoms.
In some cases, additional testing with sleep tracking technology, known as actigraphy, or with an overnight sleep study may be conducted if further information is needed or if a doctor suspects that the patient may have an underlying sleep disorder.
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Causes Of Teenage Sleep Deprivation
Some of the reasons why many teenagers regularly do not get enough sleep include:
- hormonal time shift puberty hormones shift the teenagers body clock forward by about one or two hours, making them sleepier one to two hours later. Yet, while the teenager falls asleep later, early school starts dont allow them to sleep in. This nightly sleep debt leads to chronic sleep deprivation
- using screen based devices smart phones and other devices used around bed time reduce sleep time. Teens who put down their smart-phones an hour before bed gain an extra 21 minutes sleep a night, according to a study by Vic Health and the Sleep Health Foundation
- hectic after-school schedule homework, sport, part-time work and social commitments can cut into a teenagers sleeping time
- leisure activities the lure of stimulating entertainment such as television, the internet and computer gaming can keep a teenager out of bed.
- light exposure light cues the brain to stay awake. In the evening, lights from televisions, mobile phones and computers can prevent adequate production of melatonin, the brain chemical responsible for sleep
- vicious circle insufficient sleep causes a teenagers brain to become more active. An over-aroused brain is less able to fall asleep.
- social attitudes in Western culture, keeping active is valued more than sleep
- sleep disorder sleep disorders, such as restless legs syndrome or sleep apnoea, can affect how much sleep a teenager gets.
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