Address Sleep Deprivation Dont Cope With It
Many people get insufficient sleep because they accept sleep deprivation as normal. Rather than take the necessary steps to sleep more, they drink caffeine or energy drinks, nap, or simply try to power through.
None of these approaches is a sustainable solution to sleep deprivation. They may help get through the day, but the cumulative effects of sleep deficiency will still take a toll both in the short- and long-term.
For this reason, it is important to refuse to accept a lack of sleep as normal and instead focus on sleeping more and getting higher quality rest.
Lack Of Sleep Ages Your Skin
Most people have experienced sallow skin and puffy eyes after a few nights of missed sleep. But it turns out that chronic sleep loss can lead to lackluster skin, fine lines, and dark circles under the eyes.
When you donÃ¢â¬â¢t get enough sleep, your body releases more of the stress hormone cortisol. In excess amounts, cortisol can break down skin collagen, the protein that keeps skin smooth and elastic.
Sleep loss also causes the body to release too little human growth hormone. When weÃ¢â¬â¢re young, human growth hormone promotes growth. As we age, it helps increase muscle mass, thicken skin, and strengthen bones.
Ã¢â¬ÅItÃ¢â¬â¢s during deep sleep — what we call slow-wave sleep — that growth hormone is released,Ã¢â¬ï¿½ says sleep expert Phil Gehrman, PhD. Ã¢â¬ÅIt seems to be part of normal tissue repair — patching the wear and tear of the day.Ã¢â¬ï¿½
Injuries And Work Accidents
Work accidents and injuries are more likely to occur overnight. A major risk factor for adverse effects of sleep deprivation involves shift work. Shift workers often sleep fewer hours than they need, and the sleep is often poorly aligned to their natural circadian rhythm.
Some major work-associated disasters have, in part, been blamed on sleep deprivation. A few well-known examples include the grounding of the Exxon Valdez and the resulting oil spill in Alaska, as well as the Chernobyl nuclear disaster.
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Can You Recover From Sleep Deprivation
Whether or not you can recover from sleep deprivation or sleep debt depends on what type of debt youâre trying to recover from. Acute sleep debt is actionable. When you make up for the lost sleep, you can reverse the impairments caused by short-term sleep deprivation.
In an important study conducted at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, participants who had their sleep restricted to 4.5 hours per night for a full week experienced a dramatic boost in cognitive performance and mood after just two full nights of recovery sleep.
While the scientific evidence confirming the bodyâs ability to recover from short-term or acute sleep debt is solid, the science on recovering from chronic or long-term sleep debt is murkier. According to the National Institutes of Health , some experts have doubts about the bodyâs ability to recover completely from the deleterious health consequences associated with chronic sleep deprivation.
However, even if you canât reverse the effects of chronic sleep debt, you can reap benefits from catching up on acute sleep debt fairly immediately, and it’s absolutely worth making the effort to do so.
So How Long Does It Take To Recover From Sleep Deprivation
How quickly you can recover from short-term sleep deprivation depends on how much time youâre willing and able to devote to getting extra sleep. You have to outsleep your sleep need to have any chance of making up for lost sleep.
Getting two extra hours of sleep on a Saturday morning wonât make up for six hours of missed sleep during the week. But squeezing in a mid-afternoon nap that Saturday and Sunday will probably get you closer.
But hereâs the thing: Itâs not a straightforward equation. Not all 14 nights are equally weighted when it comes to measuring sleep duration and sleep debt. Last night carries the most weight â 15% of the overall weighting, per the RISE algorithms â but that leaves 85% riding on the previous 13 nights. From those numbers we can deduce two things:
About 80% of RISE users start to feel the benefits of making up for lost sleep within five days.
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Stage : After 24 Hours
Its common to miss 24 hours of sleep. It also wont cause major health problems, but you can expect to feel tired and off.
According to the , 24-hour sleep deprivation is the same as having a blood alcohol concentration of 0.10 percent. Thats higher than the limit to legally drive.
Staying awake for 24 hours may cause symptoms like:
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:
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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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.
Symptoms Of Severe Sleep Deprivation
Severe sleep deprivation can make you feel like you’re in an alternate reality.
Though lack of sleep won’t kill you directly, you might feel like you’re on your way out if you’re experiencing severe sleep deprivation. If you stay up for more than 48 hours on end, you’ll likely battle intense physical and mental symptoms, including:
- Memory loss
- Inability to focus on normal daily tasks
- Muscle weakness
- Getting tongue-tied
- Physical illness
If you can’t fall asleep and are experiencing symptoms similar to the above, contact a doctor right away. By that point, your risk of accidents is high and it’s best to stay safe by having someone else drive you to a medical facility.
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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?
Wellness Recovery Action Plan
A Wellness Recovery Action Plan helps you account for important decisions and contact persons you may need if you get into a crisis. The National Alliance on Mental Illness recommends these plans as a means to avoid a crisis or have easy resources to reach out to. Examples of items on this plan include:
- phone numbers of key family members, friends, and/or healthcare providers
- phone numbers of local crisis lines, walk-in crisis centers and the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK
- your personal address and phone number
- medications that youre currently taking
- known triggers for mania
You can also create other plans with trusted family members or loved ones. For instance, your plan can record decisions about who will handle certain things during an episode. It might record who will take care of important tasks such as paying your bills or feeding your pets. It can also record who will manage financial details, such as finding sales receipts or making returns if spending sprees become a problem.
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Prolonged Sleep Deprivation Is A Cruel And Useless Method Of Interrogation
A recently released report by the U.S. Senate Select Committee on Intelligence focused on the CIAs detention and interrogation program following the 9/11 terrorist attacks. According to the report, among the enhanced interrogation techniques used in this program was sleep deprivation.
Sleep deprivation involved keeping detainees awake for up to 180 hours, usually standing or in stress positions, at time with their hands shackled above their heads. At least five detainees experienced disturbing hallucinations during prolonged sleep deprivation and, in at least two of those cases, the CIA nonetheless continued the sleep deprivation.
Since the release of the report, Americans have debated whether or not the methods used by the CIA can be properly called torture. I dont know about the other methods, but I do know that the methods of sleep deprivation reportedly used are clearly acts of torture. In fact, prolonged sleep deprivation is an especially insidious form of torture because it attacks the deep biological functions at the core of a persons mental and physical health. It is less overtly violent than cutting off someones finger, but it can be far more damaging and painful if pushed to extremes.
Forcibly depriving a person of sleep is a profound assault on the entire biological system at the foundation of that persons mind and body.
How Sleep Deprivation Decays The Mind And Body
Getting too little sleep can have serious health consequences, including depression, weight gain, and heart disease. It is torture. I know.
I awoke in a bed for the first time in days. My joints ached and my eyelids, which had been open for so long, now lay heavy as old hinges above my cheekbones. I wore two pieces of clothing: an assless gown and a plastic bracelet.
I remembered the hallway I had been wheeled down, and the doctors office where I told the psychiatrist he was the devil, but not this room. I forced myself up and stumbled, grabbing the chair and the bathroom doorknob for balance. I made it to the toilet, then threw water on my face at the sink, staring into the mirror in the little lavatory. My tousled hair shot out around my puffy face my head throbbed. I looked hungover.
In those first moments, I remembered the basics about what had landed me in the hospital: Some pseudo-philosophical ranting and flailing brought on by a poorly executed experiment to see how long I could last without sleep.
I was 18, in Italy, on a school-sponsored trip with that pompously misnamed group for American teens who earn As and Bs, the National Honor Society. I stayed up writing all night, and the next morning, on little more than impulse, I decided to go for it.
Why? There are a few layers of why, and I will mine them later.
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How Healthy Immune System Requires Sleep
While you sleep, your immune system gets to work recharging itself and making antibodies. If you get less than seven hours of sleep, youre 2.94 times more likely to develop a cold. Once you get sick, an immune system depressed by sleep deprivation takes longer to fight off infection.
Your immune system health can also be impacted by poor sleep quality. The immune system goes to work recharging itself and fighting infection while youre in the deepest levels of sleep. If time is cut short or you experience wakefulness during the night, the immune system doesnt get the time it needs to stay healthy.
At 72 Hours: Major Cognitive Deficits And Hallucinations
Expect significant deficits in concentration, motivation, perception, and other higher mental processes after many sleepless hours, Cralle says.
Even simple conversations can be a chore, notes Kelley. This is when the mind is ripe for hallucinations. Kelley recalled a time he was on guard duty and repeatedly saw someone standing with a rifle in the woods, ready to sneak into camp. Upon closer inspection, he determined he was actually looking at a branch and shadows.
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Detection Methods And Classifications
There are currently many ways to detect microsleeps however, there is a lack of general consensus as to the best way to identify and classify microsleeps. The simplest methods to detect these events seem to be through psychological tests, speech tests, and behavioral tests . More complex and expensive ways to detect microsleeps include EEG, fMRI, EOG, and PSG tied to various software platforms. When multiple tests are used in parallel, detection of microsleeps most likely will become more accurate.
|Counts number of yawns over a period of time.|
|Speech tests||Examines emotions and/or prosody in speech to predict microsleep episodes.|
Despite attempts to globally classify microsleeps through these detection methods , there is great variability in the types of microsleeps that people experience. Subjective, self-reported psychological tests like the Karolinska Sleepiness Scale , though widely adopted and positively correlated to EEG, often have limited utility because individuals sometimes are not aware of their level of sleepiness. Future research needs to focus more on objective microstates that underlie microsleep events so that electrical events can be understood in terms of behavioral events with greater accuracy. Then microsleep events could be more seamlessly distinguished from other states of consciousness, such as silent consciousness experienced during meditation.
Effects Of Sleep Deprivation On Cognitive Performance
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It has been estimated that over 20% of adults suffer from some form of sleep deprivation.Insomnia and sleep deprivation are common symptoms of depression, and can be an indication of other mental disorders. The consequences of not getting enough sleep could have dire results not only to the health, cognition, energy level and the mood of the individual, but also to those around them as sleep deprivation increases the risk of human-error related accidents, especially with vigilance-based tasks involving technology.
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Addressing Or Preventing Sleep Deprivation
If you regularly wake up unrefreshed and are tired during the day, its time to take action to get the sleep you need. It can be tempting to simply pop a pill when youre desperate to get some rest. But theres much you can do to improve the quantity and quality of your sleep, without having to rely on medication.
While sleeping pills or sleep aids can be useful for short-term use, theyre not a cure and dont address the underlying causes of your sleep problemand over time may even make your symptoms worse. Instead, there are a number of lifestyle and behavioral changes you can make to address sleep deprivation and get your sleep schedule back on track.
Calm your anxious mind at night. Avoid screens, work, and stressful conversations in the hour before bed. Instead, develop a relaxing bedtime routine that enables you to wind down and calm your mind. Try taking a warm bath, listening to soft music or an audiobook, reading by a dim light, or practicing a relaxation technique such as deep breathing, meditation, or progressive muscle relaxation.
Postpone worrying. If you lie awake at night anxiously fretting, make a brief note of your worries on paper and allow yourself to postpone worrying until the following day. When youre refreshed after a good nights sleep, youll be in a much better place to deal with the problem.
Maintain a regular sleep schedule. By going to bed and getting up at the same time every day, including weekends, youll support your biological clock.
Fast Facts On Sleep Deprivation
- Loss of sleep modifies normal body functions and disrupts the ability to focus on environmental sensory input
- Lack of sleep has been found to be responsible for tragic accidents involving airplanes, ships, trains, automobiles, and nuclear power plants
- Children and youngsters are most vulnerable to the negative effects of sleep loss
- When you are sleep deprived, you start to gather a sleep debt
- Sleep deprivation can be a symptom of a sleep disorder that has not been diagnosed or even any other medical issue
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