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What Are Consequences Of Sleep Deprivation

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Sleep Loss Is Responsible For Making You Dumb

The Effects of Sleep Deprivation

Sleep is responsible for playing one of the most critical roles in learning as well as thinking. When you are not able to sleep properly, it will be responsible for hurting the cognitive process in several ways. Firstly, it will be responsible for impairing attention, concentration, problem-solving, reasoning, etc. These facts will make it extremely difficult for you to learn everything efficiently.

How Long Does A Person Need Sleep To Function

This is a question that is difficult to answer, since the need is individual. One approach claims that a person will need sleep until spontaneously awakening. Another approach examines a persons awake state after being woken up after a variable number of hours of sleep. Lets factor in that the need for sleep also changes with age. Questionnaire-based studies have indicated that most people will feel rested after seven to nine hours of sleep a night.

Sleep Deprivation Causes Accidents

Lack of sleep causes road accidents and other public safety hazards, every single day. Drowsiness, like drunk driving, slows down a drivers reaction time with fatal consequences.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, fatigue is a cause in about 100,000 auto crashes and 1,550 crash-related deaths each year in the U.S.

Sleep loss – as well as – poor quality sleep leads to accidents and injuries on the job. One study showed that workers who complained about excessive daytime sleepiness were involved in more repeated work accidents.

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Hormone Changes In Sleep Deprivation Impact Weight Thyroid Function

Sleep deprivation can have significant and important effects on the secretion of hormones from endocrine glands, especially those that follow a circadian pattern. A classic example includes the effect of sleep loss or disruption in children and the impact on growth. Growth hormone is secreted during slow-wave sleep, which is more common in the early part of the night in children. When this sleep is disrupted, either through inadequate sleep or from disorders such as sleep apnea, the amount of growth hormone released is compromised. As a result, children may not reach their full growth potential, becoming shorter than they otherwise would have been.

Sleep deprivation also seems to affect the activity of the thyroid gland. It is thought that the increased energy needs while staying awake for too long demand more work from the thyroid.

Fortunately, studies also suggest that many other hormones do not seem to be affected by sleep deprivation, including:

  • Cortisol
  • Testosterone
  • Progesterone

This may provide you some relief, but there is still a risk of major health effects from not getting enough sleep.

Not Prioritizing It Has Negative Health Consequences

Can Sleep Deprivation Cause Anxiety Depression

Its estimated that about one-third of adults and two-thirds of high school students dont get enough sleep each night .

Unfortunately, not getting enough sleep can cause issues other than feeling tired.

If youre sleep deprived, you may engage in poor decision-making, be less creative, and have an increased risk of motor vehicle accidents (

13 ).

And because its the time when your body clears waste from the brain, it may be the reason why poor sleep seems to be associated with an increased risk of Alzheimers disease .


Not getting enough sleep is linked to many adverse effects, including impaired focus and decision-making and an increased risk of heart disease, obesity, diabetes, and Alzheimers.

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Cited Research And Further Reading

Basner, M., Rao, H., Goel, N., & Dinges, D. F. . Sleep deprivation and neurobehavioral dynamics. Current Opinion in Neurobiology, 23, 854863.

Colten, Harvey R. and Altevogt, Bruce M. . Sleep disorders and sleep deprivation: An unmet public health problem. Institute of Medicine. National Academies Press.

Coren, S. . Sleep thieves: An eye-opening exploration into the science and mysteries of sleep. New York: Free Press.

Dement, W. C. . The promise of sleep. New York: Delacorte Press.

Dinges, D. F., Pack, F., Williams, K., Gillen, K. A., Powell, J. W., Ott, G. E., Aptowicz, C., & Pack, A. I. . Cumulative sleepiness, mood disturbance and psychomotor vigilance performance decrements during a week of sleep restricted to 45 hours per night. Sleep: Journal of Sleep Research & Sleep Medicine, 20, 267277.

Dinges, D. F., Whitehouse, W. G., Orne, E. C., & Orne, M. T. . The benefits of a nap during prolonged work and wakefulness. Work & Stress, 2, 139153.

Hicks, G. J., Davis, J. W., & Hicks, R. A. . Fatal alcohol-related traffic crashes increase subsequent to changes to and from daylight savings time. Perceptual & Motor Skills, 86, 879882.

Jewett, M. E., Dijk, D-J., Kronauer, R. E., & Dinges, D. F. . Dose-response relationship between sleep duration and human psychomotor vigilance and subjective alertness. Sleep: Journal of Sleep Research & Sleep Medicine, 22, 171179.

Monk, T. H. . Sleep, sleepiness and performance. Oxford, England: John Wiley & Sons.

What Are Some Of Your Recommendations For Getting A Good Nights Sleep

From an adult perspective, try not to overthink it. The more pressure you put on getting a good nights sleep, the more you might worry when going to bed. Try to wind down in that hour before bed as opposed to trying to tick off multiple things on your to-do list. Consider what you are doing throughout the day that will help you get a good nights sleep. So, as soon as you get up in the morning, you should be exposing yourself to natural daylight, it does not have to be a sunny day, but get the curtains open and let as much light into the bedroom as possible. If you have a dog or do the school run, walking in the morning is a really good way of resetting your body clock for the day. Think about what you are eating and drinking throughout the day, too. If you are sensitive to caffeine for instance, try switching to non-caffeinated drinks after midday. Equally, if caffeine does not seem to affect your sleep, do not feel you need to cut this out. People should not stop doing something if it is not impacting their sleep. With alcohol, it is fine to have a couple of glasses with your evening meal, however, if you are using it as a sleep aid, then you need to reassess what else you can do instead. Alcohol can make you feel relaxed and fall asleep quite quickly, but it can also fragment your sleep throughout the night so you never really fall into a deep sleep which is why you can feel quite groggy the next day.

Lisa Artis

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Increased Risk Of Accidents

A lack of sleep can limit the ability to:

  • pay attention
  • react quickly
  • make decisions

A person who gets too little sleep may have a higher risk of drowsy driving, which can lead to accidents. In one survey, adults in the U.S. said that they had fallen asleep at the wheel within the last month. People should not drive or use machinery if they feel drowsy.

often help . A person can:

  • Try going to bed and waking up at the same times every day, even on the weekends, with the goal of establishing a routine.
  • Avoiding eating 23 hours before bedtime.
  • After trying to fall asleep for 20 minutes, get up and read, then try again later.
  • Get regular exercise during the day.
  • Keep the bedroom quiet, dark, and cool.
  • Turn off electronic devices and keep them away from the sleeping area.
  • Limit the consumption of caffeine and alcohol, especially close to bedtime.
  • Avoid tobacco use.
  • Use a mouth guard to manage bruxism.

If these measures do not help, a person should see a healthcare provider, especially if getting too little sleep is affecting the quality of life.

Some people find that devices help, including mouth guards, white noise machines, anti-snore devices, sleep trackers, wedge pillows, and other products. These are available for purchase online.

However, there is no guarantee that any of these will work.

A doctor, possibly a sleep specialist, starts by asking about:

Useful information can include:

Sleep Deprivation Can Lead To Accidents

New Study Finds Sleep Deprivation In Midlife Raises Risk Of Dementia | TODAY

This phenomenon is one of the unwanted sleep disorders which can lead to several unwanted accidents. It was the cause of one of the biggest disasters of history, which is the 1979 Chernobyl disaster. Studies have revealed that loss of sleep and low quality of sleep is responsible for accidents as well as injuries when you are on your job. If employees are not getting enough sleep, their activity will fall significantly. On the other hand, according to, sleeping properly leads to higher productivity.

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Sleep Increases Sex Drive

Men and women who don’t get enough quality sleep experience a loss of libido and less of an interest in sex, research suggests.

Men who suffer from sleep apnoea a disorder in which breathing difficulties lead to interrupted sleep also tend to have lower testosterone levels, which can lower libido.

Has The Effect Of Sleep Deprivation Been Researched

Many studies have been done on sleep deprivation in hospitals, especially on behalf of patients who suffer not only from the disease but often also from the hospitalization itself, noises around them, medications, too many bright lights and even being in an unfamiliar environment. There are many ways sleep deprivation can harm patients.

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Treatment Of Chronic Insomnia

A number of at-home and professional treatment options are available for chronic insomnia. Treatment will depend on the cause of your insomnia and may involve medication or therapy to address an underlying condition.

Along with treating any existing conditions, your doctor may recommend one or a combination of treatment options for chronic insomnia.

Make Time For Downtime

What are the effects of Sleep Deprivation?

In our society, nowadays, people arent getting enough sleep. They put sleep so far down on their priority list because there are so many other things to do family, personal stuff and work life, Dr. Walia says. These are challenges, but if people understand how important adequate sleep is, and how to sleep better, it makes a huge difference.

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How To Prevent And Treat Sleep Deprivation

If you have ongoing or worsening problems with insufficient sleep or daytime sleepiness, working with your doctor is a good first step to getting relief. Your doctor can assess your situation and recommend treatment that best suits your needs.

In most cases, a focus on sleep hygiene your sleep environment and daily habits is a central component of preventing and treating sleep deprivation. The following sections outline some key sleep hygiene improvements for people who get insufficient sleep.

Lack Of Sleep Kills Sex Drive

Sleep specialists say that sleep-deprived men and women report lower libidos and less interest in sex. Depleted energy, sleepiness, and increased tension may be largely to blame.

For men with sleep apnea, a respiratory problem that interrupts sleep, there may be another factor in the sexual slump. A study published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism in 2002 suggests that many men with sleep apnea also have low testosterone levels. In the study, nearly half of the men who suffered from severe sleep apnea also secreted abnormally low levels of testosterone during the night.

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Longest Periods Without Sleep

Randy Gardner holds the scientifically documented record for the longest period of time a human being has intentionally gone without sleep not using stimulants of any kind. Gardner stayed awake for 264 hours , breaking the previous record of 260 hours held by Tom Rounds of Honolulu.LCDR John J. Ross of the U.S. Navy Medical Neuropsychiatric Research Unit later published an account of this event, which became well known among sleep-deprivation researchers.

The Guinness World Record stands at 449 hours , held by Maureen Weston, of Peterborough, Cambridgeshire in April 1977, in a rocking-chair marathon.

Claims of total sleep deprivation lasting years have been made several times, but none are scientifically verified. Claims of partial sleep deprivation are better documented. For example, Rhett Lamb of St. Petersburg, Florida was initially reported to not sleep at all, but actually had a rare condition permitting him to sleep only one to two hours per day in the first three years of his life. He had a rare abnormality called an ArnoldChiari malformation where brain tissue protrudes into the spinal canal and the skull puts pressure on the protruding part of the brain. The boy was operated on at All Children’s Hospital in St. Petersburg in May 2008. Two days after surgery he slept through the night.

Sleep Loss Kills Sex Drive

What Are the Consequences Of Sleep Deprivation?

According to sleep experts, sleep-deprived men and women report lower libidos . Perhaps, this may be due to low energy, sleepiness, and increased tension.

Sleep apnea may be another factor that contributes to reduced sex drive. According to one study, many men with sleep apnea also have low testosterone levels.

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Losing Sleep Can Make You Gain Weight

When it comes to body weight, it may be that if you snooze, you lose. Lack of sleep seems to be related to an increase in hunger and appetite, and possibly to obesity. According to a 2004 study, people who sleep less than six hours a day were almost 30 percent more likely to become obese than those who slept seven to nine hours.

Recent research has focused on the link between sleep and the peptides that regulate appetite. ââ¬ÅGhrelin stimulates hunger and leptin signals satiety to the brain and suppresses appetite,ââ¬ï¿½ says Siebern. ââ¬ÅShortened sleep time is associated with decreases in leptin and elevations in ghrelin.ââ¬ï¿½

Not only does sleep loss appear to stimulate appetite. It also stimulates cravings for high-fat, high-carbohydrate foods. Ongoing studies are considering whether adequate sleep should be a standard part of weight loss programs.

Higher Risk Of Certain Cancers And Skin Aging

A study published by the Journal of the National Cancer Institute links night-shift work with an increased risk of colorectal cancer. Colorectal cancer is a type of cancer commonly known as colon cancer, bowel cancer, or rectal cancer. It starts in sections of the large intestine .

Even though the study does not necessarily refer to sleep deprivation, it concludes that exposure to light at night suppresses the physiologic production of melatonin, a hormone that has antiproliferative effects on intestinal cancers . What this implies is that if you are not sleeping when you are supposed to, you may be increasing your risk of certain types of cancers.

A similar study commissioned by the University Hospitals Case Medical Center, in collaboration with the beauty products manufacturer, Estée Lauder Companies Inc., concludes that individuals who dont get enough sleep tend to have a higher risk of skin problems. The same study reports that the skin of such individuals ages faster when compared to the skin of people who get adequate sleep.

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Make Sleep A Priority

Chronic insufficient sleep often occurs when people choose to sacrifice sleep in favor of work, leisure, or other obligations. To counteract this, its critical to take steps to make sleep a priority:

  • Have a consistent sleep schedule: You should strive to go to bed and wake up at the same times every day. In planning those times, make sure to budget time to get enough sleep. Once youve settled on your schedule, follow it closely, even on weekends. Stability in your sleep routine helps avoid fluctuations in your nightly sleep.
  • Set boundaries in your work and social life: Its easy for the demands of your personal or professional life to chip away at your dedicated time for sleep, so its helpful to set boundaries so that you preserve the full time you need for rest each night.
  • Have a bedtime routine: Get yourself ready each night with the same steps such as quietly reading or stretching, putting on pajamas, and brushing your teeth. A steady bedtime routine can put you in the right frame of mind to sleep well each night.

Sleepiness Makes You Forgetful

10 Negative Side Effects of Sleep Deprivation

Trying to keep your memory sharp? Try getting plenty of sleep.

In 2009, American and French researchers determined that brain events called ââ¬Åsharp wave ripplesââ¬ï¿½ are responsible for consolidating memory. The ripples also transfer learned information from the hippocampus to the neocortex of the brain, where long-term memories are stored. Sharp wave ripples occur mostly during the deepest levels of sleep.

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What Are Some Of The Health Impacts Of Short

In terms of short-term effects, you may notice difficulty concentrating, problem solving, and decision making as well as a change in your mood. These things are easily rectified if you start sleeping better again. Long-term sleep deprivation is linked to depression and anxiety, and from a physical health perspective, it is linked to heart disease, stroke, type-two diabetes, obesity, and even Alzheimers disease.

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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