Sleep deprivation just means not having enough sleep. That can be temporary (because you pulled a late nighter or the kids weren’t well) or long term (you ALWAYS stay up late or you do shift work or your sleep is not good quality). Some people suffer regularly from Insomnia – unable to sleep.
Sleep Deprivation Effects
If you are always sleepy in the daytime, tired, clumsy and gaining or losing weight unexpectedly you may be suffering from chronic sleep deprivation. (There can be other reasons and if you suspect that, see your medical adviser.) Laboratory animals that were stopped from sleeping eventually died. Long before that, sleep deprivation will affect your brain and your mental capacity, with memory lapses and drops in attention and concentration, perhaps missing out words and sentences when taking notes or forgetting to add ingredients while cooking. It seems that your mental ability is directly related to the number of hours you sleep each night. The less sleep, the worse you perform.
Even short term sleep deprivation can mean a possible increase in the likelihood of developing Type 2 Diabetes. People who usually slept for only a few hours each night were studied and it was found they were more likely to show symptoms of Type II Diabetes.
How Much Sleep?
You already know you’re supposed to get seven to nine hours of sleep a night, but sometimes, you stay up for a night out on the town, to finish a project at work, or even just to watch Law and Order! We’ve all heard it – especially from our parents – It happens to us all and an occasional late night here and there won’t hurt apart from feeling lousy next day, or falling asleep after lunch, which won’t impress the boss! It’s the long term skimping on sleep that’s the real problem. It’s called chronic sleep deprivation and it’s not just caused by staying up late. It can also be caused by sleep apnea, that affects the quality of your sleep, waking you up many times each night, even if you don’t remember.
Chronic sleep deprivation is linked to an increased risk of type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, obesity, and depression. It also increases the amount of the hunger hormone, ghrelin, in your gut, making you crave fatty, sugary foods. And more, it can also cause problems with the hormone that tells your body when you have had enough – leptin, the satiety hormone. That means you keep on eating, even though you are actually full.
Effects Of Sleep Deprivation
Lack of sleep can make you feel grumpy and foggy and affect your health, your sex drive and your looks. Sleep deprivation can cause accidents. It was a factor in the Three Mile Island nuclear reactor accident in 1979, the Exxon Valdez oil spill and the Chernobyl nuclear meltdown. It is also implicated in as many as 1 in 5 road traffic accidents every day. Driving tired can slow your reaction time as much as driving drunk. And workers who complain of excessive daytime sleepiness are more likely to suffer more work accidents and to need more sick days per accident.
Chronic sleep deprivation may impair your attention, alertness, reasoning, problem solving and concentration, making it more difficult to learn effectively. It can significantly affect your health, performance, safety, and pocketbook and may be caused by unrecognized sleep disorders. If after a typical night’s sleep, you do not feel restored and refreshed but still sleepy during the day, you may have a sleep disorder. Sometimes, it has been going on for so long, you may not even realize that you should and could feel differently. Many people remain undiagnosed for years.
Lack of quality sleep over a long period can have frightening effects on your health.