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How Bad Can Sleep Deprivation Get

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Tips For Better Sleep

Gravitas Plus: Do you sleep for less than 7.5 hours? Watch this

Here are a few tips to improve your sleep:

  • Follow a regular schedule. Going to bed at the same time each night helps regulate your inner clock. Following an irregular sleep schedule has been linked to poor sleep quality and duration (
  • ).


Sleeping well is important to staying healthy and rested. Habits like minimizing your caffeine intake and sleeping at regular hours can help.

How Much Sleep You Need Depends On Several Things

Everyone has unique needs and preferences, and individual sleep requirements are no different.

Nevertheless, the amount of sleep you need per night is primarily determined by your age.

Official recommendations for sleep duration are broken down by age group (

  • Older adults : 78 hours
  • Adults : 79 hours
  • Teenagers : 810 hours
  • School children : 911 hours
  • Preschoolers : 1013 hours
  • Toddlers : 1114 hours
  • Infants : 1215 hours
  • Newborns : 1417 hours

However, some people might need more or less sleep than is generally recommended, depending on the following factors.

Not Getting Enough Sleep Can Affect Hormone Levels

Disrupted sleep patterns, going to bed late and waking up early, or poor sleep quality can have impact on hormone production.

According to the International Journal of Endocrinology, your hormonal balance depends greatly on sleep quality. Your sleep affects hormones such as thyroid hormones, melatonin, cortisol, growth hormones, and hunger hormones.

Sleep deprivation increases your risk of hormone-related conditions such as obesity, diabetes, and thyroid issues.

Getting enough sleep is one way to help address signs of a hormonal imbalance.

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Side Effects Of Lack Of Sleep

Disclaimer: Results are not guaranteed*** and may vary from person to person***.

People have an inherent understanding of why sleep is important. It recharges the body during the night and lets us face each day bright-eyed and bushy-tailed.

Of course, most people also suffer from a lack of sleep or a lack of quality sleep. This can be due to environmental factorslike noisepersonal habits, health reasons, or stress.

Regardless of why you might be getting a lack of sleep, the side effects of lack of sleep on your health will be the same.

Although it may seem like you can get by on subpar sleep without issue, the truth is that a lack of sleep causes a series of subtle and not-so-subtle detrimental effects on the body. Read on to learn about these side effects, including heart problems, respiratory problems, an increased diabetes risk, and more.

Youll also find out how much sleep you actually need, as well as some quick home remedies for sleep deprivation. Lets get started

Does Sleep Deprivation Affect Heart Health


Substantial evidence demonstrates that sleeping problems, including sleep deprivation and fragmented sleep, have negative effects on heart health.

Sleep is an essential time for the body to recuperate. During the non-rapid eye movement sleep stages, heart rate slows, blood pressure drops, and breathing stabilizes. These changes reduce stress on the heart, allowing it to recover from strain that occurs during waking hours.

Without sufficient nightly sleep, a person doesnt spend enough time in the deep stages of NREM sleep that benefit the heart. The same problem can affect people whose sleep is frequently interrupted.

As a result, chronic sleep deprivation has been linked to numerous heart problems including high blood pressure, high cholesterol, heart attack, obesity, diabetes, and stroke.

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What About Losing A Little Sleep Every Night

Most people dont go a full 24-hours without sleep. However, that doesnt mean people are getting the recommended amount of hours each night.

  • What happens if you are only sleeping 3, 4, or 5 hours a night?
  • Is a week of inadequate sleep equal to the same amount of sleep deprivation?
  • Can you make it up on the weekend?

As mentioned above, sleep deprivation isnt just going a night without sleep. Sleep deprivation is getting less than the recommended 7-9 hours each night. Doing this habitually leads to significant issues, such as decreased safety and productivity, and more.

Some people claim they can lose sleep during the week and make it up on the weekend. While its still up to a lot of debate, the science seems against it.

The most straightforward and simple solution: work to make sleep a priority and get a good 7-9 hours each night.

How Many Hours Of Sleep Do You Really Need

No matter who you are, sleep is essential for your health.

However, when life gets busy, it can be one of the first things to get neglected or sacrificed.

This is unfortunate because getting enough sleep is as vital to good health as eating healthy foods or getting enough exercise.

This article will help you understand the benefits of getting good quality sleep and how many hours per night are optimal.

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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.

Does Sleeping Position Affect Heart Health

Can’t Sleep? Here’s the Real Cost of Sleep Deprivation

There is limited evidence linking a persons sleeping position with their overall heart health.

Some research that focuses on people with congestive heart failure has found that sleeping on your left side may change aspects of heart and lung function.

Congestive heart failure is a buildup of fluid in the lungs or other parts of the body that occurs when the heart isnt pumping blood effectively. Studies have found that people with congestive heart failure frequently avoid sleeping on their left side, and this effect is greater in people with larger heart dimensions. While the exact reason for this is unknown, it may relate to how this sleeping posture alters positioning of the heart, pressure on the lungs, and/or the sensation of the heart beating against the chest wall.

While studies have found that people with heart failure often avoid sleeping on their left side, it does not show that this sleeping position causes heart problems. Based on research to date, a persons sleeping position is not considered to be a risk factor for heart disease or other cardiovascular problems.

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Are You Sleep Deprived

Most of us know what it feels like the day after a night of little or no sleep. Youre not yourselfyou feel drowsy, sluggish, irritable, and low on energy. Your mind seems groggy, you may struggle to focus, make sloppy mistakes, and need coffee after coffee just to make it through the day until youre able to crawl back into bed at night.

While coping with the occasional night of disturbed sleep can be unpleasant, if youre regularly missing out on a restorative nights rest, you could be seriously damaging your health and quality of life. As well as negatively impacting your mood, energy, and performance at work or school, sleep deprivation can also affect your immune system, heart and brain health, sex drive, and ability to handle stress. It can add inches to your waist, increase your risk of accidents, and lead to serious long-term health problems such as diabetes, hypertension, heart disease, stroke, anxiety, and depression.

If youve been sleep deprived for a while, it can even seem normal to spend your days feeling tired and out of sorts. But while you may think that youre able to get by on less sleep without suffering any consequences, the truth is that getting sufficient sleep is essential to your physical and mental health.

Can Sleep Deprivation Be Prevented

If your sleep deprivation is mild, these simple strategies may help you to get a better nights sleep:

  • Exercise at least 20 to 30 minutes each day, at least 5 to 6 hours before going to bed. This will make you more likely to fall asleep later in the day.

  • Avoid substances that contain caffeine, nicotine, and alcohol, all of which can disrupt your regular sleep patterns. Quitting smoking is always a good idea.

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Sleep And Heart Health During Pregnancy

Pregnancy places additional strain on the heart and some women develop cardiovascular problems during pregnancy. High blood pressure, for example, can begin or worsen during pregnancy with potential complications for both the mother and her baby.

Insomnia, sleep apnea, and other sleep difficulties affect many pregnant women, and these issues have been associated with a higher risk of cardiovascular problems both during and after pregnancy. Ongoing research studies are working to identify ways to improve sleep during pregnancy with the goal of also reducing hypertension and other cardiovascular issues.

How Much Sleep Do People Need

7 Bad â Very Bad â Things About Sleep Deprivation

The following table lists how much sleep people need according to their age.

Age is one of the main factors in how much sleep people need. Kids sleep needs are more than what adults require because of the increased rate at which children grow physically and mentally. The sleep durations are based on expert consensus from the American Academy of Sleep Medicine for optimal mental and physical health.

If someone doesnt achieve a sleep duration within this range, this is the first signal of sleep deprivation and when initial symptoms will start. Furthermore, if they do not get enough rest the following nights, they can move through the additional sleep deprivation stages and their symptoms.

What are the Causes of Sleep Deprivation?

Poor sleep hygiene, work demands, sleep disorders, and other medical issues can cause or contribute to sleep deprivation. Sleep hygiene refers to habits and lifestyle factors aimed at improving sleep. Conversely, poor sleep hygiene refers to practices that go against this. For example, an irregular sleep schedule and scrolling through your cell phone right before are poor sleep hygiene habits.

Certain work demands can also interfere with getting enough shuteye. For example, a large workload or shift work may result in a lack of sleep. Busy employees may sacrifice their sleep to meet an upcoming deadline, or overnight workers may struggle to get adequate rest during the day.

What are the Stages of Sleep Deprivation?

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So Why Is Sleep So Important For Our Mental Health

There is clear evidence that sleep deprivation has a negative effect on emotion and performance. The psychological effects of sleep deprivation can effect us massively and significantly impact our daily mood. The results of one study . A deficit in the ability to form new human memories without sleep. Nature Neuroscience, 10, 385-392) indicate that a night of restful sleep may reset brain reactivity in order to prepare for emotional challenges the next day.

Sleep has an important restorative function in recharging the brain at the end of each day, just like we need to charge a mobile phone battery after prolonged use. Maintaining a regular sleep-wake cycle allows the natural rhythm of the body to be reset every day and therefore optimises brain functioning and can improve mental health.

Ongoing poor sleep can be a huge risk factor for the development of major depressive disorder. The risk of feeling depressed and/or anxious increases with the severity of insomnia, and so it is important to recognise and sort out sleep problems as soon as they are identified.

The Importance Of A Good Sleep For Your Health

Can lack of sleep cause stomach problems? Does lack of sleep affect digestion? While the occasional sleepless night will not lead to health issues, it has been shown that chronic bouts of insomnia can have a negative impact upon digestion.

Time and again, people are told about the harmful effects of sleep deprivation. From your mothers warnings to you as a child all the way to those annoying ads about night-time herbal supplements as you watch videos online, sleep is without doubt one of the most important aspects of your health.

Not getting enough sleep may sound like a simple problem on the surface, but it can take a long time to remedy. Sleep deprivation can result in difficulty concentrating it can also cause long-term damage when it happens to you regularly.

In fact, researchers from George Washington University reveal that sleep deprivation can lead to more serious medical conditions down the road, such as hypertension, strokes, heart disease, and other chronic illnesses.

Additionally, Maryville University researchers point out how chronic diseases will affect an estimated 164 million individuals in the USA in the coming years. Its unfortunate to think about how part of this impending public health problem may arise from the growing issue of sleep deprivation.

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Mental And Emotional Problems

When a pattern of sleep deprivation persists, your risk for mental illness increases. You may also exhibit severe mood swings when you do not get enough sleep. Additionally, chemical reactions that occur in your brain due to a lack of sleep can lead to mental health problems such as depression and anxiety.

Loss Of Sleep Can Lead To Type 2 Diabetes

How to get rid Sleep Deprivation

If you are not sleeping enough, you put yourself at risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

The consequences of sleep deprivation can cause a number of metabolic conditions in the body that can cause diabetes. Studies have shown that little sleep affects nighttime glucose regulation. Also, sleep disorders can cause obesity which increases the diabetes risk.

The study concluded that chronic sleep loss predisposes a person to diabetes.

A review of studies on the effects of sleep on diabetes over a 10-year period found that sleeping less than 5 hours a night or longer than 9 hours a night increases the risk of becoming a diabetic.

You can help lower your risk of diabetes by avoiding chronic sleep deficiency. You can also add some of these foods to your diet to help prevent symptoms of diabetes.

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What Is Sleep Deprivation

Sleep deprivation occurs when a person gets less sleep than their body needs. The effects of sleep deprivation can vary from person to person.

Children and teenagers need more sleep than adults as their brains and bodies are still developing and growing. As such, the effects of sleep deprivation in children can sometimes be more severe or longer-lasting.

General symptoms of sleep deprivation in adults can include:

  • fatigue and sleepiness during the day
  • concentration, alertness, and memory difficulties
  • reduced coordination
  • increased appetite
  • mood changes

Regular or chronic sleep deprivation can also increase a persons risk of several health conditions, including obesity, diabetes, and heart disease.

What To Avoid To Treat Sleep Deprivation

Certain foods, drinks, and electronic devices should be avoided to help treat sleep deprivation. Some foods can trigger stomach issues that make it harder to sleep soundly. For example, some foods to avoid before bed include spicy foods, onions, and fried foods because these are known to cause heartburn in certain people. Furthermore, consuming too much food before bed could lead to uncomfortable nighttime indigestion.

Caffeinated drinks and alcohol can also negatively affect how well you rest, and therefore, should be avoided. Caffeine delays sleep onset, which can prevent you from falling asleep on time, and although alcohol may make you tired, its also linked to more disturbed rest.

Lastly, you should avoid electronic screen devices before bed if youre experiencing sleep deprivation. The reason for this is that these items emit a blue light that decreases the production of the melatonin hormone. Melatonin is a natural hormone released in greater amounts when its dark out to help you feel sleepy. However, exposure to blue light devices like cell phones and laptops suppresses melatonin, leaving you more alert. As a result, you may go to bed later and not get enough rest.

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Increased Risk Of Injuries

According to a National Sleep Foundation Study, drowsiness or fatigue is the principle cause of at least 100,000 traffic accidents each year. One North Carolina state study found that 55% of all fall-asleep crashes were caused by drivers under the age of 25. Parents shouldnt let sleep deprived adolescents get behind the wheel anymore than they would if their kid had been drinking.

But while it might pose the most serious risk, driving is not the only danger. After getting between 3 and 4 hours of sleep for several nights in a row, while working on a term paper in his sophomore year of high school, Gabriel Levine went into his kitchen at 3am to get a snack. Instead of slicing through a wedge of cheese he sliced through his thumb clear to the bone, severing a ligament. It ended up requiring a trip to the emergency room and two surgeries to repair it, and I spent 6 weeks in a cast, says Levine, now 19 and a freshman in college. Though he says the injury was absolutely the result of how little sleep Id been getting by on for months, he didnt get any extensions on homework or papers. And because he could only type with one hand, he ended up having to stay up even later to finish his work.

How To Improve Your Sleep

Sleep Myths

If you aren’t getting enough sleep, there are many things you can do to get better sleep. The approach is dependent on the cause. You might already know why you aren’t getting enough sleep, or you may need to speak to a healthcare professional about it.

For example, many people have habits that keep them awake. For example, staying up late on social media will result in exhaustion, possibly napping during the day, and then staying up late again. Regulating your schedule could be the solution.

Work and family responsibilities are other causes of sleep deprivation. Consider talking to your healthcare provider about whether you should see a therapist to work on adjusting your priorities so you can get better rest.

Medical and psychological problems, such as pain, sleep apnea, depression, and more will require treatment and guidance from a health care professional.

Research has led to important safety regulations when it comes to work-related sleep deprivation, especially with long-haul truck drivers. For shift workers, sleep patterns should be adjusted so that sleep and wake times are consistent.

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