The Effects Of Lost Sleep
An NIH State-of-the-Science Conference focused on the public health issues of chronic insomnia – including the larger impact that is not often noticed. When children and the elderly suffer from insomnia, parents and caregivers also suffer. Employers suffer when an insomniac’s work performance is affected.
Most people need between seven and eight hours of sleep each night to feel refreshed and function optimally, says Hunt. “Obviously there’s some variation, some people intrinsically need more sleep than others. A few people skip by successfully long-term getting less sleep – but that’s a very small number.”
If you’re getting less sleep than your body needs, there can be serious consequences.
“There’s recent evidence showing — in men and women in several countries — that chronic sleep deprivation increases risk of early death,” Hunt tells WebMD. “Studies are showing that people who get less sleep are at greater risk for heart disease and heart attacks. And perhaps the hottest area of research has shown a link between chronic sleep deprivation and risk of overweight and obesity. These studies articulate the price society pays in not getting a good night’s sleep.”
The affect on our functional status was borne out in the 2005 Sleep in America survey. Over one-quarter of working adults – 28% — said they had missed work, events and activities, or made errors at work because of sleep-related issues in the previous three months.
Strategies For Sleep Deprivation Treatment
The primary treatment of sleep deprivation is to increase total sleep time, the American Sleep Association explains. Treating the cause of sleep deprivation is generally the solution to the problem.
In other words? If you want to sleep more, you first have to figure out why youre sleeping less. Then take steps to address that root cause. For example:
Taking naps could help address sleep deprivation but it could also potentially make things worse. Nap only if necessary, the Harvard Health site advises. Napping an hour or two at the peak of sleepiness in the afternoon can help to supplement hours missed at night. But naps can also interfere with your ability to sleep at night and throw your sleep schedule into disarray.
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Geographic Variation In Short Sleep Duration
Figure 1 shows the age-adjusted percentage of adults who reported short sleep duration , by state in the United States in 2014. The percentage varies considerably by state, from < 30% in Colorado, South Dakota, and Minnesota to 40% in Kentucky and Hawaii. The highest percentages were in the southeastern United States and in states along the Appalachian Mountains. The lowest percentages were in the Great Plains states.
Figure 1. Age-Adjusted Prevalence of Short Sleep Duration Among Adults Aged 18 Years, by State, United States, 2014
The Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System provides data critical for monitoring national and state population health. However, the BRFSS surveys do not have sufficient samples to produce direct survey estimates for most counties or sub-county areas. Therefore, we used BRFSS data to estimate short sleep duration prevalence at different geographic levels, including counties, congressional districts, and census tracts using a previously developed model.2 These estimates could be used in a variety of contexts and meet the diverse small-area health data needs of local policy makers, program planners, and communities for public health program planning and evaluation.
Figure 2. Prevalence of Short Sleep Duration for Adults Aged 18 Years, by County, United States, 2014
Learn how the counties in your state rank in prevalence of short sleep duration at the County Health Rankings & Roadmaps websiteexternal icon.
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Your Motor Skills Are Off
Yes, tripping over a step might make you a klutz. But do it a few times in a day and it might just mean you’re too tired to really focus on where you’re going.
A 2014 study published by the National Institutes of Health, suggests that acute sleep deprivation negatively impacts subsequent motor and reversal learning and memory. Meaning, “when you’re tired, there’s a lapse in how you neurologically function in general,” Dr. Winter says. With lowered reaction time and concentration also comes more difficulty with movement. “When you walk up and down the stairs, there’s a lot of processing going on there,” Dr. Winter says. “When sleep deprived you can’t process particularly well.”
Sleep And Overall Health
Consistently getting a good nights sleep is correlated with better overall health and a higher quality of life. Current sleep research has shown that sleep may be associated with memory consolidation and emotional regulation and a lack of sleep may adversely impact these, Dr. Singh says. Improving sleep has shown to increase performance, cognition, and even help regulate appetite and weight.
- People who sleep less than seven hours per night are more likely to develop obesity than those who sleep more .
- The risk of diabetes increases with too little sleep and too much sleep . .
- Those who sleep less than six hours per night are 20% to 32% more likely to develop hypertension than people who get seven to eight hours of sleep per night .
- Not driving while sleepy, driving after less than or equal to five hours of sleep, and driving between 2 a.m. and 5 a.m. may reduce up to 19% of car crash injuries .
- Although both chronic lack of sleep and long sleep durations are associated with a higher risk of mortality, longer sleep durations come with the highest risk of mortality .
In 2014, the CDC also reported on the risk of the following chronic health problems increased due to sleep deprivation:
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Pressures Not To Sleep
After an evening with four or five hours of homework, Walworth turns to her cellphone for relief. She texts or talks to friends and surfs the Web. Its nice to stay up and talk to your friends or watch a funny YouTube video, she said. There are plenty of online distractions.
While teens are biologically programmed to stay up late, many social and cultural forces further limit their time for sleep. For one, the pressure on teens to succeed is intense, and they must compete with a growing number of peers for college slots that have largely remained constant. In high-achieving communities like Palo Alto, that translates into students who are overwhelmed by additional homework for Advanced Placement classes, outside activities such as sports or social service projects, and in some cases, part-time jobs, as well as peer, parental and community pressures to excel.
The problem of sleep-phase delay is exacerbated when teens are exposed late at night to lit screens, which send a message via the retina to the portion of the brain that controls the bodys circadian clock. The message: Its not nighttime yet.
Yuan, a clinical associate professor of pediatrics, said she routinely sees young patients in her clinic who fall asleep at night with cellphones in hand.
Every Age Group Needs A Different Amount Of Sleep
Sleep needs by age vary a lot. Notably, newborns need from 14 to 17 hours of sleep, including naps, and infants need from 12 to 15 hours, also including naps. Moreover, toddlers need from 11 to 14 hours, while preschoolers need from 10 to 13 hours, with naps, too. Then, school-age children need 911 hours. As for teens, teenage sleep statistics suggest that they need 810 hours. As for adults and older adults, they need 79 and 78 hours of sleep every night, respectively.
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What It Is Its Causes Symptoms And Long
Almost everyone has encountered a zombie-like feeling after a night of minimal or no sleep. Even after just one night without enough rest, we can feel drowsy during the day with slowed thinking, lack of energy, and an irritable mood.
Sleep deprivation is when you dont get the sleep you need, and it is Its estimated to affect around one-third of American adults , a problem that has only worsened in recent years.
Lack of sleep directly affects how we think and feel. While the short-term impacts are more noticeable, chronic sleep deprivation can heighten the long-term risk of physical and mental health problems.
To avoid these problems, its important to avoid sleep deprivation. Understanding this condition, including its causes, symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment can put you in a better position to ensure that youre getting the sleep you need.
What Is Sleep Deprivation
According to guidelines published by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, Sleep deprivation occurs when an individual fails to get enough sleep.
Dr Juliet Anton expands on this further, saying that sleep deprivation is when we dont get enough quality sleep, as opposed to quantity – people could have eight hours, but if they wake up not feeling rested, especially if is happening long term, then that could lead to feeling deprived of sleep.
If you are experiencing any of the following, chat to your doctor to first rule out any other possible causes, and to get a plan in place to fix your sleep deprivation if that is indeed what youre experiencing.
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You Cant Get To Sleep Stay Asleep Or Wake Up Too Early
These symptoms all fall under insomnia and are usually caused by stress, irregular sleep schedules or excessive use of electronic devices in the evening. Randhawa suggests three basic strategies:
How Do You Know If You Are Getting Enough Sleep
If people want to know whether theyre enjoying adequate rest, they have more options beyond obsessively checking their sleep-tracking smartwatch to see how many hours they logged each night. Here are five signs that people are in fact getting enough sleep.
- You dont need an alarm to wake up.
- You dont rely on caffeine.
- You generally fall asleep quickly.
- You dont wake up for long periods of time during the night.
- You dont feel sleepy during repetitive tasks or while driving.
Of course if you arent experiencing these things, it could be a sign you have sleep deprivation.
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Keep Waking Up In The Night
Everyone wakes up in the night. Brief awakenings at night are a normal part of our sleep cycle. They only become a problem if you wake up and cant fall back to sleep again, particularly if you wake up continually during the night. This is commonly caused by:
Needing to wake up to go to the toilet Alcohol and caffeine are common suspects because theyre diuretics which means they come out of the body faster. Could also be caused by a medical condition or not spreading out your drinks throughout the day.
Forcing yourself to sleep Even if you do manage to force yourself to fall asleep, youre much more likely to wake up in the night. Particularly if youre feeling stressed. Negative thoughts can pop up like a jack-in-the-box as soon as you wake up and prevent you from falling back to sleep.
You Cant Seem To Concentrate
Theres a difference between having an off day and regularly lacking the skills to concentrate on a task. Focus and concentration is key for all of us, in day-to-day life, especially at work.
It could mean were not giving 100% in work or our relationships, or with attention to detail. Dr Anton explains: If were not concentrating properly, that in turn makes it hard to make good decisions.
In fact, a Harvard Medical school study, showed that if the neurons in the brain dont have time to recuperate and they become overworked, through lack of sleep, this in turn starts to affect cognitive behaviours, including focus and concentration.
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Around 80% Of People With Sleep Apnea Arent Diagnosed As Per Sleep Apnea Statistics
Sleep apnea happens when a person stops breathing for a few seconds during the night. In fact, it occurs when the brain fails to initiate a breath, which is called central sleep apnea. It can also happen when the airflow is obstructed by mucus and other fluids, making it difficult to breathe, a condition known as obstructive sleep apnea. Astoundingly, around 22 million Americans have sleep apnea.
What Are The Effects Of Sleep Deprivation
When people sleep less than 8 hours, they tend to be irritable with a generally negative mood. Theyre short-tempered with their colleagues, family, and friends and more prone to unhappiness and depression.
In addition to mood disorders, people who dont get enough sleep are more likely to suffer from obesity and other health conditions, such as diabetes, high blood pressure, and cardiovascular diseases.
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Mental And Emotional Effects
Sleep deprivation can impair decision-making and problem-solving. It can reduce mental flexibility, making it harder to deal with adverse situations or regulate mood and behavior.
Research has also shown that sleep deprivation can play a role in mental health issues, such as depression, risk-taking behavior, and suicidal thoughts and feelings.
- Depression: People who are sleep deprived may be more likely to experience symptoms of depression, a condition which also frequently causes further sleep disruptions.
- Anxiety: Anxiety, like depression, can be worsened by a lack of sleep, and anxiety disorders may make it harder to sleep well, contributing to a negative cycle of anxiety and insufficient sleep.
- Bipolar disorder: Sleep deprivation has a significant impact on people with bipolar disorder. Sleep deprivation can worsen the symptoms of both manic and depressive episodes and has been associated with lower quality of life and decreased response to treatment in people with bipolar disorder.
- Hallucinations: Serious short-term sleep deprivation may trigger hallucinations if it involves 48 hours or more without sleeping.
Cdc: More Than 1 In 3 Americans Are Sleep
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has shed light on some unsettling trends involving our sleep. More than 35 percent of Americans get less than seven hours of sleep per night and 1 in 20 has fallen asleep at the wheel in the past month.
Drowsy driving is one of the most overlooked dangers on our roadways. Its estimated that as many as 1,550 deaths and 40,000 personal-injury accidents are caused by drowsy drivers.
The CDC surveyed about 74,000 adults in 12 states about various topics related to sleep. The survey was a new module included in the CDCs 2009 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System .
Results show nearly half of the people surveyed snore and 38 percent unintentionally nodded off during the day at least once in the past month.
The AASM reports that adults need a minimum of seven hours of sleep per night. Even an hour less of sleep per night can lead to long-term health problems such as diabetes, heart disease and diabetes. It also can sap your energy, ruin your productivity and put you in a foul mood.
Theres a reason why Americans are constantly among the most sleep-deprived in the world. Aside from the many worries that keep us awake at night, our society seems to reward those who stay up working or socializing rather than sleeping. Being sleep-deprived isnt a badge of honor its a threat to your health.
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Attention And Working Memory
Among the possible physical consequences of sleep deprivation, deficits in attention and working memory are perhaps the most important such lapses in mundane routines can lead to unfortunate results, from forgetting ingredients while cooking to missing a sentence while taking notes. Performing tasks that require attention appears to be correlated with number of hours of sleep received each night, declining as a function of hours of sleep deprivation. Working memory is tested by methods such as choice-reaction time tasks.
The attentional lapses also extend into more critical domains in which the consequences can be life-or-death car crashes and industrial disasters can result from inattentiveness attributable to sleep deprivation. To empirically measure the magnitude of attention deficits, researchers typically employ the psychomotor vigilance task which requires the subject to press a button in response to a light at random intervals. Failure to press the button in response to the stimulus is recorded as an error, attributable to the microsleeps that occur as a product of sleep deprivation.
During The Peak Of Covid
An online survey was conducted to evaluate insomnia, depression, anxiety, and acute stress during the COVID-19 peak . Notably, its among the first studies that document insomnia and other psychological symptoms brought about by the pandemic. Now, its conclusion reveals important insomnia statistics. Namely, the study found that 15.8% of those surveyed felt acute stress, 18.5% experienced anxiety, and 24.5% experienced depression.
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Mental Health Symptoms Of Sleep Deprivation
The physical symptoms of sleep deprivation are pretty scary on their own.
However, since sleep is the process that allows your mind to recover and recuperate each day, its safe to say that the mental effects of sleep deprivation are pretty worrying too.
Just like you need to recharge your phones battery, you need to recharge your brain too.
A regular sleeping and waking cycle supported by good sleep hygiene allow you to reset your body each day and optimise brain function.
When you fail to get the amount of sleep you need each night, your brain is one of the first things to suffer.
Normal processes get thrown out of balance by exhaustion, and your chances of feeling depressed, anxious, and confused increase.
Here are just some of the mental health symptoms of sleep deprivation that you should be aware of.