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How To Help Someone With Sleep Deprivation

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Maintain The Room Temperature

How Medical Marijuana Can Help with Sleep Deprivation

One of the most common ways to cure sleep deprivation is by ensuring that you do maintain your room temperature. Very hot or humid room temperature does have the potential to hamper your sleep cycle all the more.

If you wish to recover from sleep deprivation, it is very important to ensure that you do maintain the room temperature atleast around 23-27 degrees centigrade all the time during the night.

This helps provide with quality sleep and even helps you deal with sleep deprivation.

How Does Sleep Relate To Mental Health

There’s a close relationship between sleep and mental health. Living with a mental health problem can affect how well you sleep, and poor sleep can have a negative impact on your mental health.

“Poor sleep leads to worrying. Worrying leads to poor sleep. Worrying about sleep is like your mind trying to fight itself. That’s a horrible place to be.”

Establish A Routine With Your Loved One

If your loved one is your partner or lives with you, you can create a bedtime routine to do together. This can improve relaxation and promote normalized sleeping patterns.

For example, maybe you both listen to soothing music or perform breathing exercise. Practicing muscle relaxation can help, as can meditation.

If you do it with your loved one, they will feel more supported and encouraged to maintain these healthy bedtime routines.

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Disorientation Hallucinations & Paranoia

After only one night of no sleep, symptoms like hallucination and paranoia can appear. While these symptoms aren’t as common, as most people tend to get at least a few hours of rest, they can quickly appear after a few nights of poor sleep, particularly in people who are predisposed to conditions like bipolar affective disorder, schizophrenia, and depression.

In fact, sleep loss can trigger mood episodes in patients with bipolar illness. When a person is experiencing a manic or bipolar episode, they may not register the passage of time, feel the need to rest, or even know what day it is. Episodes can include visual hallucinations and paranoia, in that they may think people they would normally trust are out to get them.

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Sleep Deprived

Using sleep deprivation to lift people out of severe depression may seem counterintuitive, but for some people, its the only thing that works. Linda Geddes reports.

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The first sign that something is happening is Angelinas hands. As she chats to the nurse in Italian, she begins to gesticulate, jabbing, moulding and circling the air with her fingers. As the minutes pass and Angelina becomes increasingly animated, I notice a musicality to her voice that Im sure wasnt there earlier. The lines in her forehead seem to be softening, and the pursing and stretching of her lips and the crinkling of her eyes tell me as much about her mental state as any interpreter could.

Angelina is coming to life, precisely as my body is beginning to shut down. Its 2am, and were sat in the brightly lit kitchen of a Milanese psychiatric ward, eating spaghetti. Theres a dull ache behind my eyes, and I keep on zoning out, but Angelina wont be going to bed for at least another 17 hours, so Im steeling myself for a long night. In case I doubted her resolve, Angelina removes her glasses, looks directly at me, and uses her thumbs and forefingers to pull open the wrinkled, grey-tinged skin around her eyes. Occhi aperti, she says. Eyes open.

The bias towards pharmaceutical solutions has kept chronotherapy below the radar for many psychiatrists. A lot of people just dont know about it, says Veale.

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Introducing Healthier Sleep Habits Into Your Life

Introducing healthier sleep habits into your life can make poor sleep a thing of the past. But if youre not sleeping properly, sooner or later it could catch up with you.

The occasional bad nights sleep is generally no more than a nuisance but ongoing poor sleep can lead to excessive daytime sleepiness, mood swings, reduced energy and concentration problems. Your body will tell you in a variety of ways if you need more sleep.

Dont ignore these sleep deprivation symptoms:

Encourage Them To Seek Treatment For Sleep

Sometimes sleep-wake disorder and other sleep disorders are caused by mental health disorders. For example, anxiety and depression can cause sleep-related symptoms. If this is the case, psychotherapy and medication may be helpful.

If the sleep disorder isnt related to a mental health condition, there may be other options. For example, a doctor may recommend light therapy to adjust circadian rhythm, or supplementing with melatonin.

The Recovery Village provides treatment for co-occurring disorders, like sleep disorders, that occur with substance abuse. To find out more about co-occurring disorder drug and alcohol treatment programs, contact The Recovery Village today.

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How Sleep Deprivation Affects The Brain

A lack of sleep can increase stress and even trigger depressive episodes. Further, struggling with stress, anxiety, and depression can make it harder to fall asleep, creating a vicious cycle of insomnia, stress, anxiety, and depression.

These conditions can affect our overall mood, physical health, and ability to focus and make critical choices. For example, individuals who work for a living may find their lack of sleep having profound effects on their ability to get a job done or may begin making mistakes. If a person works in construction or in a job that requires heavy machinery, sleep deprivation could have life-altering consequences.


When you’re faced with sleep deprivation, even the most minor challenges can leave you feeling overwhelmed and in tears.

Sleep deprivation can put individuals young and old alike in a bad mood. When we’re babies, parents often put us down for naps so we can recharge even as adults, when we’re cranky, we probably need sleep. Unfortunately, our culture seems to value sleep less and less as we age, neglecting how essential sleep is for our primary functions.

The unexpected flat tire or toddler tantrum is a lot easier to handle after a full night of rest.


If you’re having trouble remembering where you put your keys, take a breath. Instead of assuming you’re suffering from memory loss, you may just need a little more sleep.

Physical Health

Focus & Decision Making

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Brain Fog

What Causes Problems With Sleep

Narcissists Use Sleep Deprivation to Control You

The things that affect our sleep differ for everyone. They can include:

  • stresses or worries for example, issues with money, housing or work
  • problems with where you sleep for example, if you sleep somewhere uncomfortable or you’re easily disturbed
  • health conditions relating to sleep, also known as sleep disorders
  • being a parent or carer

For more information about sleep disorders, see the Mental Health Foundation and Royal College of Psychiatrists websites, and our list of useful contacts.

“It’s not possible to relax if you don’t have anywhere comfortable and safe at night. This leads to not sleeping and worrying most of the night.”

If problems with sleep are worrying you or affecting your day to day life, it’s a good idea to see a doctor who can give you a health check and help you access treatment and support. If you fill in a sleep diary, you could take this to your appointment to show your doctor.

“My sleep problems are more a case of bedtime procrastination than insomnia as such and, as a consequence, being too tired the next morning. I still haven’t found out what works for me as I can get to sleep once I do get to bed.”

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The Connection Between Lack Of Rem Sleep And Pain

One of the possible reasons for headaches from lack of sleep is REM or rapid eye movement.

REM is a sleep phase characterized by the fast movement of the eyes and other changes in the body. During this period, your heartbeat and breathing are faster.

You are also likely to be dreaming, and these dreams can be vivid or detailed. REM usually occurs within 90 minutes of falling asleep.

Its duration can also increase as you move along the different stages of sleep. REM sleep isnt just about dreaming, though.

While the body is less aware of outside stimuli, the brain is active. It is a time where the brain purges anything that shouldnt belong there.

At the same time, it enhances your learning and memory. It also helps in regulating mood, and this is important since its the one that links to different types of pain, such as headache from lack of sleep.

REM sleep helps produce two feel-good chemicals or neurotransmitters called serotonin and dopamine.

Serotonin contributes to feelings of happiness and well-being, while dopamine reduces your bodys perception of pain. Serotonin, in particular, is responsible for the narrowing of the blood vessels as well.

When a person is sleep-deprived, the levels of these neurotransmitters change. So do the width of the blood vessels, and this can contribute to a migraine attack.

Have A Sleep Sanctuary

We often drag out our entire existence into our bedrooms which is possibly one of the worst things that you could do. Instead of doing that, try and ensure that your bedroom and your bed specifically is just for sleeping, engaging in intimate moments and something accessory that doesnt technically mix in your work too.

Keep any kind of technological distractions out because even those tend to have negative impacts on your sleeping abilities.

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Which One Is It

Mild emotional symptoms and difficulty concentrating when you know you are dealing with sleep debt can likely be attributed to sleep deprivation. While sleep debt can be dangerous , it can be remedied with proper sleep hygiene and stress reduction techniques.

Major depressive disorder, on the other hand, can significantly impair functioning and requires further treatment than proper sleep and stress reduction. A depressed mood that lasts two weeks or longer is a red flag to seek help from a licensed mental health practitioner. If you or a loved one experiences suicidal thoughts, dial 911 or go the nearest emergency room for an evaluation.

  • American Psychiatric Association, Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition, American Psychiatric Publishing, Washington, D.C., 2013: Pages 160-168.
  • Ibid.
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    The Top Seven Dangers of Sleep Deprivation

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    Signs And Symptoms Of Sleep Deprivation

    You may be sleep deprived if you:

    • Feel tired, irritable, and fatigued during the day yawn frequently.
    • Have difficulty focusing or remembering things.
    • Feel less interested in sex.
    • Find it difficult to get out of bed in the morning, need an alarm clock to wake up on time, or repeatedly hit the snooze button.
    • Feel lethargic or drowsy in the afternoon.
    • Find it difficult to stay awake in lectures, meetings, warm rooms, while driving or commuting, or after a heavy meal.
    • Have to take a nap during the day.
    • Fall asleep on the couch in the evening.
    • Are asleep within five minutes of going to bed.
    • Need to sleep late on weekends.
    • Have experienced mood changes, including feeling depressed, anxious, stressed, paranoid, or suicidal.

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    Reducing Noise And Distractions

    There are a couple components to keeping your bedroom a quiet place. First, eliminate noisy elements like televisions and computers. Having the TV on while youre sleeping can actually be a major disruption to your cycle if you need sound to fall asleep, opt instead for white noise. There are portable sound machines as well as phone and tablet apps that let you choose from a variety of soothing sounds. You could even bring in a floor fan: most create enough white noise to drown out sounds that could disturb your slumber, plus it can be an excellent way to keep the room cool.

    The second component of keeping your bedroom quiet is to ensure you use it for sleeping only. In addition, find yourself a good, quality mattress. These mattresses are ranked some of the best for those suffering from chronic back pain. Again, it is important to get something of quality, you spend enough time sleeping to justify this.

    Mechanisms Behind Sleep Loss Effects

    How To Deal With Sleep Deprivation

    Some hypotheses are proposed to explain why cognitive performance is vulnerable to prolonged wakefulness. The theories can be divided roughly in two main approaches, in which SD is assumed to have general effects on alertness and attention, or selective effects on certain brain structures and functions. In addition, individual differences in the effects have been reported.

    The general explanation relies on the two-process model of sleep regulation. Cognitive impairments would be mediated through decreased alertness and attention through lapses, slowed responses, and wake-state instability. Attentional lapses, brief moments of inattentiveness, have been considered the main reason for the decrease in cognitive performance during sleep deprivation . The lapses are caused by microsleeps characterized by very short periods of sleep-like electro-encephalography activity . Originally, it was thought that in between the lapses, cognitive performance almost remained intact, but the slowing of cognitive processing has also been observed independent of lapsing . According to these hypotheses, performance during SD would most likely deteriorate in long, simple, and monotonous tasks requiring reaction speed or vigilance. In addition to the lapses and response slowing, considerable fluctuations in alertness and effort have been observed during SD. According to the wake-state instability hypothesis, those fluctuations lead to variation in performance .

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    What Are The Stages Of Sleep Deprivation

    While there arent specifically any typical stages involved in the sleep deprivation, the condition is often times described because of the stages in the sleep cycle that we encounter.

    Our sleep is mainly divided into two distinctive stages:

    • Non Rapid Eye Movement Sleep
    • Rapid Eye Movement Sleep

    If you have been encountering sleep deprivation, chances are that your sleep has been either interrupted during the Non-REM or the REM cycle during the sleep. The best way to overcome that is to find where the problem is occurring and try and get help to overcome sleep deprivation.

    Bidirectional Relationship Between Headache And Sleep Disorders

    Sleep disorder and pain are often comorbid and lead to serious negative effects on health and quality of life. In this case, both conditions undoubtedly have bidirectional relationships. Many studies have shown a positive correlation between chronic pain intensity and degree of sleep disturbance . In addition, it was shown that the structure of sleep disorders in patients with chronic pain is similar to the profile in patients with primary insomnia .

    Data from various authors show a high frequency of comorbidity of different variants of cephalgia with different variants of sleep disorders :

  • 1.

    Migraine can be associated with insomnia , parasomnia , restless leg syndrome, and bruxism .

  • 2.
  • The most striking example of the headache-relieving function of sleep: the attack stops if the patient manages to fall asleep. However, there is a special form of migraineweekend migraine, when a headache occurs after waking up as a result of excess sleep. Lack of night sleep and dissatisfaction with sleep quality often lead to morning headaches.

    The provocative role of sleep is clearly visible in patients with cluster headaches, while sleep deprivation plays a relieving role: a single night of sleep deprivation led to the absence of cluster attacks for 4 days. With these symptoms short-term sleep deprivation is indicated, leading to an improvement and absence of pain for about 5 days.

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    Recognizing The Symptoms Of Sleep Deprivation

  • 1 If you are sleep deprived, you may feel tired all the time. You may yawn often during the day and find it hard to stay awake when you are doing tasks. You may feel groggy in the morning or throughout the day.XResearch source
  • You may find yourself dozing off at random times, especially during meetings, while watching television, or even when driving.
  • 2Determine if you are mentally alert. Another symptom of sleep deprivation is a lack of mental alertness. This means you may have trouble concentrating, you may not think as clearly, your memory may be weaker than usual, or you may have decreased reaction time.XResearch source
  • Many accidents occur due to lack of mental alertness due to sleep deprivation. Sleep deprivation can cause all of your thought processes to work slower and not as efficiently as when you are fully rested.
  • 3Figure out if you are getting sick more often. Sleep deprivation can lead to a lowered immune system. This can cause you to get sick more often because your body is unable to fight off bacteria, viruses, and other diseases. Sleep deprivation can also cause you to get better more slowly that if you were rested.XTrustworthy SourceMayo ClinicEducational website from one of the world’s leading hospitalsGo to source
  • If you have been getting sick often, or if you are unable to kick a cold or other condition, you may be sleep deprived.
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