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.
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:
Avoid Cell Phones And Electronic Devices Before You Sleep
The biggest way we sabotage our changes of good sleep is our cell phone – we hurt our ability to sleeping well by looking at our screens and leaving our phone charging on our bedside table. The combination of synthetic light before bed and notifications while we sleep stimulates our mind, preventing us from dropping into deep sleep cycles. One of the best ways to avoid sleep deprivation and insomnia is by staying off of electronics before bed. Try switching from a screen to a book, board game, bath, relaxing meditation, or any way that relaxes you without being plugged in.
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Sleep Deprivation Test #: The Spoon Method
Do you constantly struggle to keep your eyes open when youre riding the bus home from work?
Maybe youve been popping OTC pills to help you sleep at night, but the side effects are leaving you drowsy and disoriented during the day.;
Whatevers happening, you know that your sleeping pattern isnt what it should be and thats a real problem.;
After all, no matter who you are, or what you do, all living creatures need sleep to survive. We use sleep as one of our bodies most crucial fuels along with oxygen and food.;
Fail to get enough sleepinto your daily schedule, and you could suffer from a host of terrifying side-effects, ranging all the way from increased chances of chronic illness, to depression.;
The question is, how do you know the difference between just being a little sleepy, and being significantly sleep deprived?
Its easier than youd think.;
Heres your introduction to sleep deprivation tests, and how they work.;
Sleep deprivation test #1: The spoon method
We often assume that studies into our sleeping mechanisms are going to be very complex.
Say the words sleep test to someone, and the immediately imagine electrodes and beeping machines. However, the most common sleep deprivation test is a lot simpler than youd think.;
Designed to help anyone determine just how problematic their sleep schedule might be, the Sleep Onset Latency Test was created by a man named Nathaniel Kleitman.;
If it takes you longer than 15 minutes to get to sleep, youre probably fine.;
Weight Gain Or Weight Loss
When rats were exposed to prolonged sleep deprivation the result was that both food intake and energy expenditure increased, resulting in a net weight loss, and ultimately leading to death. The hypothesis of this study is that when moderate chronic sleep debt goes hand-in-hand with habitual short sleep, energy expenditure and increased appetite are encouraged; and, in societies where high-calorie food is freely available the equation is tipped towards food intake rather than expenditure. Nationally representative samples used in several large studies suggest that one of the causes of the United States obesity problem could possibly be due to the corresponding decrease in the average number of hours that people sleep.
These findings indicate that the hormones that regulate appetite and glucose metabolism could be disrupted because of sleep deprivation. It appears that the association between obesity and sleep deprivation is strongest in young and middle-age adults. On the other hand, there are scientists who believe that related problems, such as sleep apnea, together with the physical discomfort of obesity, reduce a persons likelihood of getting a good nights sleep.
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Your Skin Isn’t Looking Good
Of all the places on your body, your face can truly show your age if you don’t take steps to keep your;skin healthy. Those steps include common precautions such as maintaining a;well-balanced diet rich in good fats, using UV protection, and perhaps most obvious, getting a good night’s sleep. In a 2014 Clinical and Experimental Dermatology study, experts found that poor sleepers had higher levels of trans-epidermal water loss, thus aging their skin more than good sleepers. Additionally, good sleepers had 30% greater skin barrier recovery, and had a better perception of their appearance and physical attractiveness compared to poor sleepers.
“When a good night’s sleep is hindered, you will look significantly more fatigued,” Flora Kim, MD, FAAD of Flora Kim Dermatology tells Health, citing dark under-eye circles, saggy eyelids, wrinkles or fine lines, droopy corners of the mouth, and paler skin. She says sleep deprivation can also cause occasional acne because it leads to circadian disruption, which translates to an abrupt biological change that creates an imbalance in your skin.
What Are Sleep Deprivation And Deficiency
Sleep deprivation is a condition that occurs if you don’t get enough sleep. Sleep deficiency is a broader concept. It occurs if you have one or more of the following:
- You don’t get enough sleep
- You sleep at the wrong time of day
- You don’t sleep well or get all of the different types of sleep that your body needs
- You have a sleep disorder that prevents you from getting enough sleep or causes poor quality sleep
This article focuses on sleep deficiency, unless otherwise noted.
Sleeping is a basic human need, like eating, drinking, and breathing. Like these other needs, sleeping is a vital part of the foundation for good health and well-being throughout your lifetime.
Sleep deficiency can lead to physical and mental health problems, injuries, loss of productivity, and even a greater risk of death.
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Interrupted Sleep Often Leads To Lower Hormone Production
Your bodys hormone production depends on uninterrupted sleep. When you wake up repeatedly through the night, as is often the case for those who suffer from sleep disorders like sleep apnea, your body may not be able to produce a sufficient amount of hormones, including testosterone. As a man who doesnt get enough sleep, you may notice a resulting decrease in your sex drive.
How Many Hours Should I Be Sleeping To Avoid Sleep Deprivation
Whilst you may have heard that 6-8 hours of sleep is optimal, it actually entirely depends on what time you went to bed.
Heres why; in order to restore and regenerate, every night our bodies go through sleep REM cycles.
These cycles usually last 90 minutes each, and ideally youll want to have 6-9 of them each night.
So, the trick with this isnt to track how many hours you sleep, but rather how many 90-minute REM cycles you go through.
This will help you discover exactly when you should be going to bed and when you should be getting up.
For example, lets say you want to wake up at 6am, youll want to go to sleep either at 9pm or 10:30pm as that allows for the right amount of sleep cycles. You can do this exercise with any time.
This way you can set an alarm for 6am knowing that youre getting the optimum amount of sleep.
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What Causes Sleep Deprivation
Sleep deprivation is often driven by voluntary choices that reduce available sleep time. For example, a person who decides to stay up late to binge-watch a TV series may experience acute sleep deprivation. An inconsistent sleep schedule may facilitate these decisions and make them feel less intentional in the moment.
Work obligations are another common contributor to sleep deprivation. People who work multiple jobs or extended hours may not have enough time for sufficient sleep. Shift workers who have to work through the night may also find it hard to get the amount of sleep that they really need.
Sleep deficiency may be caused by other sleep disorders or medical conditions. For example, sleep apnea, a breathing disorder that induces dozens of nightly awakenings, may hinder both sleep duration and quality. Other medical or mental health problems, such as pain or general anxiety disorder, can interfere with the quality and quantity of sleep.
You Have Difficult Waking
If you can barely open your eyes and repeatedly hit the snooze button each morning , you likely didnt just have one bad nights sleep but rather your body is suffering from an ongoing sleep debt.
If your body doesnt catch up on those lost hours of sleep, youre more likely to feel worse as the days, or rather early mornings, roll by.
Youll also want to make sure youre ONLY waking during a natural end to one of your sleep cycles as being abruptly woken up during the middle of one by an annoying alarm can make you feel 10x worse during the daymore on that below.
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Take Steps To Improve Your Sleeping Habits
Sleeping is one of the most important things in a persons life. So it is important to make sure that you are getting enough sleep each night.
There are many steps that you can take to improve your sleeping habits and sleep quality. One way to do this is by making some simple changes in your daily routine. Here are a few things you can do:
1) Cut out screen time after 8:00 PM or at least 1-2 hours before bedtime.;
2) Move your body for at least 20 minutes a day, preferably earlier in the day
3) Stick to a sleep schedule, no matter what
4) Have a bedtime routine and stick to it. Ensure its something relaxing such as meditating or even reading some of these sleep affirmations.
5) Listen to sleep stories !
6) Avoid caffeine after 3 PM
7) Avoid sugary or high-fat foods before bedtime
If chronic sleep deprivation is becoming a worrying issue, then please do seek the advice of a medical professional.
Youre Moody Grouchy & Irritable
If you find yourself inexplicably on edge throughout the day, theres a good chance youre not getting enough sleep.
Irritability is a key sign of sleep deprivation. If the slightest thing seems to bother you , chances are you havent had a personality change, but rather your brain is running on empty.
Sleep is the like fuel for the brain; it needs an adequate amount to function properly.
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Working Memory And Attention
Besides the many physical consequences of insufficient sleep, perhaps the most important consequences of sleep deprivation are deficits in working memory and attention. Lapses in ordinary mundane routines can cause worrying results; from missing words or sentences while taking notes to omitting important ingredients while cooking. It appears that carrying out tasks that require attention is in direct correlation to the number of hours the person sleeps each night; with these functions declining with the number hours of sleep deprivation. Methods such as choice-reaction time tasks are used to test working memory. Sadly, these attentional lapses can move into critical domains whereby the consequences could well result in life or death: industrial accidents and car crashes can be the result of inattentiveness, directly attributable to sleep deprivation.
Researchers typically use the psychomotor vigilance task in order to measure the magnitude of attention deficits: this simply requires the patient to press a button at pseudo-random intervals in response to a light. An error is recorded when the patient fails to press the button in response to the light , and this is noted as being attributable to the micro-sleeps occurring due to sleep deprivation.
Precautions Regarding Sleep Deprivation Treatments
While a lack of sleep will certainly lead to feeling more tired, this isnt the only reason you might be feeling low in energy. If fatigue is an ongoing issue for you, there may be other lifestyle factors to consider addressing, even if you already get enough sleep. These factors include:
- the quality of your diet
- timing of your meals
- existing health conditions
For example, eating too infrequently might leave you feeling zapped of energy. Similarly, consuming too much sugar, calorie restriction or crash dieting, having abnormal blood sugar levels,;hormone imbalance, and;not getting enough movement might also make you feel more sleep deprived. To reduce the negative effects of consistently low energy levels, it can be helpful to keep a journal in order to track your symptoms and habits. This can enable you to pinpoint which types of variables might be either sabotaging your sleep, or robbing you of energy despite sleeping enough.
If you continue to feel fatigued even after making these lifestyle changes, see your health care provider to make sure you dont have an underlying health condition thats causing the fatigue.
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Sleep Deprivation May Lead To Feeling Sleepy During The Day
We all know that sleep is the best way to recharge and energise ourselves. But, for many people, they still struggle with sleep deprivation. This can, unsurprisingly, make you feel sleepy during the day which is not only a problem for your health but also perhaps for your job and other responsibilities.
Daytime sleepiness is characterized as feeling tired during waking hours or having difficulty maintaining concentration. It is often caused by lack of sleep from not getting enough hours in bed or poor quality of sleep. It can be seen with fatigue, yawning, heavy eyelids, lightheadedness and slowness in speech.
There are many reasons why someone might be experiencing this problem. Some of these reasons include shift work, medication side effects, central sleep apnea, or poor quality sleep hygiene . Feeling sleepy during the day can have a real knock-on impact on the rest of your life.
Excessive daytime sleepiness is also a common symptom of sleep deprivation. It is caused by the body not getting the amount of rest it needs. Excessive daytime sleepiness has a negative effect on daily life which can affect work, relationships, safety and more.
Studies have shown that one in three adults are experiencing some form of excessive daytime sleepiness which is usually down to chronic sleep deprivation.
What Is Sleep Deprivation Or Insomnia
While many people have heard the term insomnia, Sleep Deprivation is actually a type of insomnia. It is caused by the inability to fall asleep or stay asleep soundly. In its most basic definition, insomnia is the general sleep disorder of either not being able to fall asleep, or waking in the middle of the night and being unable to fall back asleep. Sleep Deprivation is part of the family of insomnia, and the two diagnoses are often used interchangeably. Heres our e-book on tried and tested sleep tips.;
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What Are The Symptoms Of Sleep Deprivation
The primary signs and symptoms of sleep deprivation include excessive daytime sleepiness and daytime impairment such as reduced concentration, slower thinking, and mood changes.
Feeling extremely tired during the day is one of the hallmark signs of sleep deprivation. People with excessive daytime sleepiness may feel drowsy and have a hard time staying awake even when they need to. In some cases, this results in microsleeps in which a person dozes off for a matter of seconds.
Insufficient sleep can directly affect how a person feels during their waking hours. Examples of these symptoms include:
- Slowed thinking
- Lack of energy
- Mood changes including feelings of stress, anxiety, or irritability
A persons symptoms can depend on the extent of their sleep deprivation and whether it is acute or chronic. Research also suggests that some individuals are more likely to experience symptoms after a lack of sleep and that this may be tied to a persons genetics. Stimulants like caffeine can also mask the symptoms of sleep deprivation, so its important to note how you feel on and off these substances.