Consequences of Sleep Deprivation

Have you ever felt irritated, tired, and lethargic during office hours due to no or less sleep the previous night?

Every once in a while, we all endure sleep deprivation. Whether it was due to attending late-night parties, trying to finish projects before the deadline or a bad mattress. Being deprived of sleep can bring countless problems for you, from laziness to lack of concentration on the task at hand.  If the scenario of sleep deprivation continues, it escalates other health issues that can keep you struggling to live a peaceful life. 

How much sleep is required for a person?

The required amount of sleep varies from person to person and generally depends on their age group.

Average sleep required depending on age is

  • New Borns ( 0-3 months): 14 to 17 hours a day
  • Infants ( 4-12 months): 13 to 16 hours a day ( including naps)
  • Toddlers ( 1- 3 years): 10 to 14 hours a day ( including naps)
  • Pre-schoolers ( 4-6 years): 10 to 14 hours a day (including naps)
  • School students( 6-12 years): 9 to 12 hours 
  • Teenagers (13-18 years): 8 to 10 hours
  • Adults (18 years and up): 7 to 9 hours

What causes sleep deprivation?

If you don’t get proper sleep as per your age group, it leads to sleep deprivation. There are several reasons why one remains deprived of sleep, and sometimes all of them are responsible, or just one reason can keep you away from the required amount of sleep.

In the last decade, the primary reason for increased sleep deprivation amongst people has been increased screen timing throughout the day. Besides spending hours scrolling on mobiles, many people keep dodging sleep to work on urgent projects, studying before exams, or pull all-nighters to watch matches played in different time zones.

Buying the wrong mattress online can also cause sleep deprivation, as the wrong or bad quality mattress can keep you tossing and turning all night. Sometimes, despite being a quality product, the mattress doesn’t suit your body type, which results in keeping you awake all night, such as not using an orthopedic mattress for back pain.

Mental or emotional disorders like anxiety, stress, and depression, are also the reason behind not getting enough sleep at night and keeping you sluggish throughout the day.

Who is affected by sleep deprivation?

Sleep deprivation is widespread amongst billions of people worldwide as everyone faces it once in a while. But people with health issues, sleeping disorders or going through tough times in their life are more prone to it. 

Difference between Sleep deprivation and sleeping disorders

Sleep deprivation and sleeping disorders like insomnia are interrelated, however, they are very much different from one another. Sleep deprivation is a state where you stay awake due to external reasons or personal causes. In contrast, sleep disorders are illnesses or health issues that are caused due to changes in the body and need to be treated with the help of medications.

Symptoms of sleep deprivation

Symptoms of sleep deprivation

When you fail to sleep properly for a night, it causes you symptoms like fatigue, daytime sleepiness, irritation, headaches, and trouble focusing, thinking, recalling, and reacting. However, if sleep deprivation extends for more than one night, it becomes a severe health issue.

Illnesses caused due to sleep deprivation.

Though one sleepless night may not result in a massive crisis, several or constant sleepless nights or sleep deprivation result in other health issues, such as,

  • High blood pressure (hypertension)
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Overweight or obese
  • Obstructive sleep apnea
  • Vascular disorder
  • Heart attack
  • Stroke
  • Anxiety
  • Depression 
  • Mental illnesses
  • Sleep disorders

How to treat sleep deprivation?

Sleep deprivation is not a disease like insomnia or sleep apnea. Nevertheless, health issues and other illnesses caused due to sleep deprivation can be drastic, and these future predicaments make you seek a solution for sleep deprivation. 

Sleep deprivation has several reasons, and its seriousness ranges from mild to high. Therefore, to cure sleep deprivation, you need to find its exact reason.  For example, if you’re sleep deprived due to health issues, then you need to take medications for it, but if your sleepless nights are caused due to sleeping on a smaller mattress than your height, then buy a king-size mattress online.

How may sleep deprivation be self-treated?

Sleep deprivation is very much typical among people. Several times, it occurs due to a person’s negligence or external things. Therefore, it is self-manageable most of the time.

Things you can do to prevent or cure sleep deprivation such as:

  • Take power naps: Try to take power naps of 20 to 30 minutes during the day. However, avoid it post afternoon to be able to sleep at night.
  • Avoid caffeine: Too much caffeine consumption can cause brain stimulation and remains for more than 6 to 7 hours in the body. Avoid drinking it 6 to 7 hours before going to bed.
  • Sleep schedule: Maintain a sleep-wake schedule despite any situations like holidays or working through demanding projects in the office.
  • Avoid too much screen light: Stop using mobile, laptops and other blue light emitting gadgets at least 30 minutes before bedtime.
  • Don’t use sleep medicines: Avoid excessive intake of sleep medicines to sleep at night, as it can cause other side effects on health. 
  • Exercise: Trying daily exercises, yoga, meditation, breathing exercises, or being active helps you improve sleep quality and beat sleep deprivation.
  • Bedroom changes: Make changes in your bedroom that will help you sleep without any trouble, such as lights off, proper ventilation, low temperature, cleanliness, etc.

Bottom Line:

Sleep deprivation may seem small and harmful, but if not dealt with in due time, it can cause other harmful health issues, illnesses and sleeping disorders. 

Try to eliminate all the future possibilities of health issues caused due to sleep deprivation by self-help or visiting sleep experts before it’s too late and get the required sleep you deserve.

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