There is a difference between sleep deprivation and insomnia. Sleep deprivation is not actually a physical disorder. Rather, it is the outcome of poor living conditions and other illnesses that can lead to its own negative effects and symptoms. The side effects of sleep deprivation are disturbing, if not terrible. For some adults, the recommended amount of sleep required for optimal mental and physical health is typically seven to nine hours per night. However, it’s difficult to get that amount without the help of a good quality bed.
When someone is suffering from sleep deprivation, they may fall asleep at inappropriate times. Sometimes, the person’s body will wake them up because they have fallen asleep while engaging in an activity they were in pre-dawn hours. If this happens frequently, your doctor may prescribe you a sleeping pill to help you fall asleep. Sleeping pills can be highly addictive, and over time may have unpleasant side effects.
Chronic sleep deprivation can also lead to a more serious condition. Some people who are constantly struggling to fall asleep also experience daytime sleepiness throughout the day. This means they do not get enough rest for the energy they need to perform their daily tasks. While some people have natural circadian rhythms, many individuals find it hard to fall asleep in an age where the traditional cycles of sleep are changing. People are commonly awakening several hours later during the day, as the days become shorter.
Short And Long-Term Side Effects Of Sleep Deprivation On Your Body
A combination of insomnia and chronic sleep deprivation can lead to a much more serious condition known as sleep apnea. This condition causes stoppage of breathing. As you sleep deep, you often cannot get the breath to come in when you wake up again. This condition can be very dangerous and could cause life-threatening circumstances. The effects of sleep apnea range from mild to severe and include heart arrhythmia, high blood pressure, congestive heart failure, stroke, and even death.
There are few symptoms of Sleep Deprivation. The symptoms have high risk of cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, obesity, depression, and sometimes, even Alzheimer’s. Of course, each of these is a serious condition, which is why treatment is so essential.
If you experience any of these symptoms, it is best that you see a sleep specialist. Detecting sleep deprivation is fairly easy. Your doctor may refer you to a sleep specialist to confirm your suspicions, to pinpoint the cause, and to devise a treatment plan.
The Most Common Cognitive effects of Sleep Deprivation
Many people get caught up in the weekend’s excitement, going out and partying hard. But they experience a sudden bout of side effects of sleep deprivation. Yes, it’s fun to party hard all night long, but you don’t want to have your pants down at the end of the night, either. After 24 hours going a night with little sleep, not going more than a few hours without sleep can be pretty hazardous to your health. And although it might not be a fun experience, it will not be an enormous loss to your social life. But you still endure the effects of sleep deprivation even at this late stage, and yes, it still affects your physical and mental health.
If you have gone through the short-term effects of being deprived of sleep, you will probably feel changes in your moods. Irritability and restlessness are usually the first symptoms that strike upon waking up upon being deprived of sleep. You might be irritable towards everyone and everything. And this could lead to arguments with family members or friends and increased stress in your everyday life. Occasionally, little sleep is a short-term inconvenience. If you let it continue for too long, you can develop severe problems like irritability and insomnia.
Another sign of the developing disorder is chronic insomnia. Chronic insomnia affects over 15 million Americans alone, with many developing serious health complications from it. It usually causes this by the circadian rhythm, causing a person to experience sleeplessness every day of the week, resulting in chronic exhaustion because of the lack of quality sleep.
How To Recover From Years Of Sleep Deprivation
Sleep deprivation can also affect your eyesight. If you sleep less than you need, your body releases melatonin. Melatonin is a hormone that regulates the timing of your hormone receptors. As a result, you experience disruptions in the visual cortex, and your ability to process light properly. Because so many people suffer from this sleep disorder, doctors often prescribe visual therapy or corrective eye surgeries for those suffering from lack of sleep.
People diagnosed with chronic depression may also feel hopeless or guilty because of the symptoms associated with this disorder. In one study, they asked participants to complete several questionnaires about their mood. Those who have experienced depression for at least six months were more likely to report sad thoughts or feelings than others. Other symptoms associated with chronic depression were feeling restless or easily distracted, not interested in things that others find enjoyable, having trouble concentrating, being easily irritated or overeating.
As you can see, there are many potential side effects of sleep deprivation. The condition affects the cognitive functions of the brain. For example, if you go to bed tired, you may find yourself less efficient at work or school. If you do not get enough rest, you could suffer from poor performances in school or work. If you experience sleep deprivation during the day, you could be at risk of injury accidents, or even driving or operating heavy machinery while being unable to function appropriately.