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What Are The Side Effects Of Sleep Deprivation

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What Happens If I Dont Sleep

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In todays busy world, you may ask yourself this question quite often. Sleep deprivation, or lack of sleep, simply happens when you dont get enough sleep, your sleep is interrupted, or you dont get any sleep at all.

An occasional night without enough sleep will leave you feeling irritable and tired the next day however, it will not impact your health. But several sleepless nights spent tossing and turning in bed will lead to brain fog, and this makes decision-making and concentration difficult. As a result, you may feel fatigued and even fall asleep during the day.

Your risk of injury, especially while driving, also is increased. Moreover, when lack of sleep continues, this increases diabetes risk kills sex drive and leads to respiratory problems, skin issues, memory failures, and more.

The following is a deeper analysis of the many side effects of lack of sleep to consider:

You Will Sleep Anyway

There is a phenomenon called micro-sleep that appears as a side effect of sleep deprivation. Its when your brain effectively falls asleep for short intervalsusually no more than five seconds or so at a time. In addition to being disorienting and confusing, micro-sleep can be extremely dangerous if it should happen when you are doing activities like driving.

What Is Sleep Deprivation

Everyone has different needs when it comes to sleep. Some lucky ones only need 6 hours, whereas some need a full ten to feel like themselves. But for many adults, 7 to 9 hours is necessary to avoid sleep deprivation. Sleep deprivation occurs when you receive less sleep than necessary or even experience a lack of sleep. Research shows receiving inadequate sleep is more than an inconvenience or stressor its a red flag that can lead to a host of concerns, including high blood pressure, forgetfulness, heart disease, and diabetes.

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Worried About How Sleep Problems Are Affecting Your Health

Sleep does so much more than keep our mind sharp. Long-term sleep deprivation can negatively affect your emotional state and physical health. Sleep Health Solutions of Ohio can help identify your sleep problems and find solutions to get the rest that your body needs.

Dr. Rosenberg is specialized in sleep medicine and neurology. He is also certified by the American Board of Sleep Disorders Medicine and the American Board of Psychology and Neurology. Patients with a wide range of issues are referred for sleep studies and he works together with them to find effective solutions that fit their lifestyle.

Harmful Health Effects Of Not Getting Enough Sleep

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Your brain needs you to sleep so it can rest, reset, and restart correctly. Thus, getting restful sleep is an important requisite for the maintenance of your physical, emotional, and mental well-being.

In fact, it is as important as food and water in that regard. Not getting enough sleep can adversely affect your brain, your heart, and immune system.

People who struggle to get adequate or good-quality sleep on a regular basis tend to become drowsy and tired during the daytime, which compromises their ability to think clearly, focus on tasks, and function at their best.

If you cannot focus well, you cannot think clearly, so your decisions can be impaired. You may even be at risk of meeting a car or work accident.

Plus, sleep deprivation makes your body crave sugars and carbs, which leads to obesity and diabetes. You can also get seizures if you have not slept in a long time.

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Not Getting Enough Sleep

As humans, we understand the body by breaking it down into separate systems, when in reality, the body functions as a whole. Everything affects everything.Through Integrative medicine, we now know that giving someone a medication for their nerve pain will then impact their ability to sleep which serves as a domino effect leading to insulin sensitivity, cravings, poor nutrition, decreased energy level, and exercise.

The list goes on.

We know for a fact that insufficient sleep is a contributor to poor physical health, mental health, and emotional health.

However, it is helpful to understand how sleep deprivation will impact each system of the body and how one negative side effect in one system of the body will lead to another in a different system of the body.

What Happens When You Dont Get Enough Sleep

Your doctor urges you to get enough sleep for good reason, Dr. Walia says. Shorting yourself on shut-eye has a negative impact on your health in many ways:

Short-term problems can include:

  • Lack ofalertness. Even missing as little as 1.5 hours can have an impact on howyou feel.
  • Excessivedaytime sleepiness. It can make you very sleepy and tired during the day.
  • Impairedmemory. Lack of sleep can affect your ability to think, remember andprocess information.
  • Relationshipstress. It can make you feel moody and you can become more likely to haveconflicts with others.
  • Qualityof life. You may become less likely to participate in normal dailyactivities or to exercise.
  • Greaterlikelihood for car accidents. Drowsy driving accounts for thousands ofcrashes, injuries and fatalities each year, according to the National HighwayTraffic Safety Administration.

If you continue to operate without enough sleep, you may seemore long-term and serious health problems. Some of the most serious potentialproblems associated with chronic sleep deprivation are high blood pressure,diabetes, heart attack, heart failure or stroke. Other potential problemsinclude obesity, depression, impairment in immunity and lower sex drive.

So lack of sleep could mean more wrinkles! Understand whysleep is so important yet?

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Dark Puffy Under Eyes

One of the most recognizable signs of sleep deprivation is tired eyes.

âWhen people are not getting enough sleep, it affects cardiovascular output, and one of the places you can see it is blood stasis or congestion underneath the eyes. Getting more sleep and more time resting can help to address that,â Winter says.

This congestion is known as venous congestion, or allergy shiners. Sleep-deprived eyes produce unsightly under-eye bags, but they also indicate that your circulation is diminished throughout the body.

âThis is happening very slowly everywhere. The bags under your eyes can be an outward symbol of the blood not returning to the heart effectively and stagnating in places,â Winter says.

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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Sleep Deprivation Side Effect: Increased Risk Of Stroke

The New England Journal of Medicine has named poor or insufficient sleep, including obstructive sleep apnea, as a risk factor for stroke and in the most serious cases, even death. During a stroke, the blood supply to a certain part of the brain is impaired or obstructed. When this happens, neurons in that portion of the brain are starved for oxygen. Without prompt medical intervention, neuron death can begin in as little as four minutes.

When neurons die, they cant be resurrected. Depending on which parts of the brain are affected, stroke can cause serious long-term consequences, potentially limiting ones independence and impairing thinking and cognitive ability.

It might seem counter-intuitive, but its true: One easy step toward preventing a stroke could simply be getting enough quality sleep.

Can Sleep Deprivation Cause Hallucinations

Yes, sleep deprivation can cause hallucinations. Hallucinations are when individuals perceive something to be present even though what theyre seeing is not real. Hallucinations will typically occur in the fourth or fifth stages of sleep deprivation when the person has lost sleep for 72-96 hours.

How common is sleep deprivation?

Sleep deprivation is very common. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that 1 in 3 American adults are sleep deprived. However, they also say that healthy sleep durations vary among demographics.

People in the Southeast United States report lower sleep durations than other parts of the country. College-educated and employed people report a healthier sleep duration than those who dont have a degree or job. Lastly, married couples report better sleep duration than single, divorced, or widowed people.

Is sleep deprivation seen in kids?

Yes, sleep deprivation is seen in kids. Sleep deprivation in kids can be caused by factors such as stress, anxiety, mood disorders, and attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder . According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, only 48 percent of school-age children in the United States get enough sleep. They add that the children who get adequate rest report a more positive view of school.

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Sleep Deprivation: Causes Symptoms And Treatment

Jill Zwarensteyn Disclaimer – Nothing on this website is intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment… Read more here

Sleep deprivation occurs when an individual does not get the recommended amount of sleep for their age group. Experts suggest healthy adults get between 7 and 9 hours of rest each night. Children need more sleep than adults. However, the specific amount kids need is also dependent upon their age. Top sleep and medical experts determine their recommended sleep durations by performing research and establishing a consensus on what amounts will provide optimal physical, mental, and emotional health. If an individuals sleep duration isnt within the recommended range, they can start showing symptoms of sleep deprivation.

Sleep Is The Foundation For Good Health

10 Negative Side Effects of Sleep Deprivation

Sleep is more than just a time for your body and mind to rest. In fact, while youre asleep, your body remains active.

During this time, your body rebuilds muscles youve worn down during the day and removes toxins in the brain that accumulate while youre awake. Its also essential for keeping your memories intact .

Sleep is likewise vital in helping you regulate your emotions. Being sleep deprived for just one night can increase your emotional response to negative feelings by 60% .

Furthermore, sleep deprivation can affect your bodys ability to regulate essential functions like appetite control, your immune system, metabolism, and body weight .

Lastly, sleep plays a vital role in maintaining your circadian rhythm or internal clock.

Your inner biological clock runs on an approximately 24-hour schedule controlling the sleep-wake cycle. It may also influence your metabolism, inflammation, and how you respond to stress .

Not sleeping long enough, sleeping at odd times of the day, and exposure to bright light at night can disrupt your internal clock and the many processes it regulates .

Additionally, though you may think youre getting ample rest, not all sleep is created equal. Its not only essential to get enough each night but also important to get good quality sleep.

Nevertheless, there isnt a consensus regarding what defines sleep quality.

Since sleep is essential for so many aspects of good health, you should make getting enough each night a high priority.

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What Are The Types Of Sleep Deprivation

The two types of sleep deprivation are acute and chronic. We list these types in detail below.

  • Acute Sleep Deprivation: Acute sleep deprivation is when an individual experiences insufficient rest for a short amount of time. The timeline of acute sleep deprivation is typically several days.
  • Chronic Sleep Deprivation: Chronic sleep deprivation is when a person doesnt get enough rest for a longer period. The timeline for chronic sleep deprivation is typically three months or longer.
  • Enhancing Healthcare Team Outcomes

    Sleep loss is generally a readily treatable health issue. However, it often goes undetected. The most important thing for healthcare providers to do is routinely screen for concerns with sleep in patients. Once a patient is found to have difficulty sleeping, proper treatment can begin.

    For both diagnosis and treatment, an interprofessional team approach is beneficial. The family practitioner can enlist the help of psychiatry professionals or a sleep disorder specialist. The pharmacist should monitor all medications, looking for drug interactions, side effects potential, and in rare cases, misuse of sleep medication, alerting the team of any issues. Nursing can also play a vital role by verifying patient compliance, counseling on lifestyle and sleep hygiene issues, and letting the treating clinician know of any concerns. Psychiatric and medical care go hand and hand in promoting good sleep. It is essential that a psychiatrist considers a patient’s physical health and that a PCP considers a patient’s psychiatric health when treating sleep. Only with an interprofessional approach can sleep disorder management be optimized for patient benefit.

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    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.

    Hormone Changes In Sleep Deprivation Impact Weight Thyroid Function

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    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.

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    Increased Risk Of Diabetes

    Diabetes is an incredibly common condition that impacts many people all over the UK.

    According to the the University of Chicago Journal of Medicine, sleep deprivation may disrupt fat metabolism and reduce the ability of insulin to regulate blood sugars.

    Because sleep deprivation can negatively impact your bodys ability to manage blood glucose, getting quality sleep is important in the prevention and maintenance of diabetes.

    Reasons For Insufficient Sleep

    There are many causes for sleep deprivation. Stress, a sleep disorder, an irregular work schedule, or even a disruptive midnight snack could be cutting short your zzzs.

    Unfortunately, sleep-deprivation can also be self-imposed. Some people stay up late on purpose because they want to get more work done, spend time on electronics, use coffee as a crutch, or dont recognize the importance of sleep. Dont let this be you! Avoid the poor effects of sleep by checking these recommended sleep guides, and setting a regular sleep schedule to make sure you get the hours you need.

    Do you get enough sleep, or do you struggle to get your 7-8 hours/night or feel excessively sleepy during the day even when you get enough sleep?

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    Sleep Deprivation Effects: Side Effects From Missing Sleep

    Sleep and health are best friends, they hang out every day and help each other become better and stronger. Sleeping badly may slow you down a bit the following day, make you feel grumpy and a little unable to focus. But, the odd rough nights sleep is not damaging to your overall health. Chronic sleep deprivation that is experienced multiple times per week could have some long-term ill-health effects. The definition of sleep deprived is sleeping less than 7 hours per night, as most adults need 7-9 hours of quality sleep every night to maintain health. Lets talk about sleep deprivation, how to manage it, and how to prevent loss of sleep.

    Identify Medications That Help

    The Effects of Sleep Deprivation

    Healthcare providers typically treat acute manic episodes with medications known as antipsychotics. These drugs can reduce manic symptoms more quickly than mood stabilizers. However, long-term treatment with mood stabilizers can help prevent future manic episodes.

    Examples of antipsychotics include:

    Examples of mood stabilizers include:

    If youve taken these medications in the past and have some understanding of how they work for you, you may want to write down that information in a medication card. Or you could have it added to your medical record.

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    Can Sleep Deprivation Cause Death

    Yes, sleep deprivation can cause death. In most cases, though, sleep deprivation doesnt directly cause death but rather fosters long-term health issues or increased accident risks that can result in death. For example, sleep-deprived people are more likely to develop cardiovascular problems that could be fatal such as a heart attack, heart failure, or stroke. Furthermore, sleep deprivation can put someone at a higher risk of getting into an automobile accident, which could be fatal.

    One exception in which sleep deprivation directly causes death is Fatal Familial Insomnia , a rare genetic brain disorder that causes chronic insomnia. FFI may initially start as a mild form but, over time, becomes progressively worse, ultimately leading to death.

    How common is sleep deprivation?

    Sleep deprivation is very common. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that 1 in 3 American adults are sleep deprived. However, they also say that healthy sleep durations vary among demographics.

    People in the Southeast United States report lower sleep durations than other parts of the country. College-educated and employed people report a healthier sleep duration than those who dont have a degree or job. Lastly, married couples report better sleep duration than single, divorced, or widowed people.

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