Sleep Deprivation

Sleep is crucial for our overall health and well-being. We do not realize how active our brain is while we sleep as it carries out numerous vital functions. Sleep is imperative to every process in the body. The benefits of sleep include, but are not limited to keeping yourself healthy, possibly helping prevent cancer, reducing stress and inflammation, you will feel more alert, enhancing memory, may help you to lose weight and many more things that are beneficial.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), an estimated one in three adults does not get enough sleep. The suggested hours of sleep vastly range depending on an individual’s age, but they do advise adults to get at least seven hours of sleep each night.

Understandably, intermittent disturbances may be an inconvenience, and this does happen to all of us. However, even with that said, it is critical to understand an ongoing lack of quality sleep can create issues with performance at work or school, and the ability to function in daily life and cause the quality of life to deteriorate drastically.

When people fail to get enough sleep, they may face dangerous consequences. Sleep deprivation is what occurs when people are consistently lacking sleep or have a reduction in quality sleep. The following are the different types of sleep deprivation:

Acute Sleep Deprivation- Refers to not sleeping or a reduction in the normal total sleep time, typically lasting one or two days.

Chronic Sleep Deprivation- Also referred to as insufficient sleep syndrome. This is when the person is getting insufficient sleep or experiences sleeplessness over an extended period.

Chronic Sleep Deficiency or Insufficient Sleep- Describes poor sleep that occurs due to sleep fragmentation or other disruptions for an extended period.

Several effects are detrimental to long-term sleep deprivation, which I will explain in the rest of this post. The following are not in any specific order or severity.

Hypertension is an increased blood pressure, which is said to be linked to when you get less than 5-6 hours of sleep per night. As I stated at the beginning of this post, sleep helps to carry out vital functions, including regulating the body’s hormones causing stress. The lack of rest intensifies the effects of stress on the body. An increase in blood pressure, higher than normal heart rate, and inflammation puts unnecessary strains on the heart.

Heart attack and stroke because sleep deprivation increases the risk of fatal cardiovascular issues. Doctors and researchers suggest that because lack of sleep can disrupt parts of the brain controlling the circulatory system or cause inflammation can allow for the development of blood clots.

Sleeping as much as five hours is not enough and research suggests that sleep deprivation may disrupt the body’s ability to process glucose cells. These cells are utilized for fuel and certain amounts of insulin produced by the body. Sleep deprivation is considered a consequential risk factor for developing type 2 diabetes.

When people do not get a good night’s sleep, they tend to feel irritable. Long-term sleep deprivation is linked to clinical depression and loss of motivation. People who battle with depression typically have irregular sleep schedules. Our sleep cycles and regulation of moods are regulated by a hormone called “melatonin”.

Both anxiety and panic attacks are common reactions when battling with chronic sleep deficiency. People may display lower tolerance for mild stressors that would normally not cause any irrational reactions.

Even after one night of restless sleep, we can experience mental fog, fatigue, short tempers, and lack of focus. When our brain is unable to get adequate rest for an extended period, mental abilities can be drastically impaired. Logically, we know we need proper sleep to keep a sharp mind, concentrate, and learn. Lack of sleep may impact our problem-solving skills and the ability to regulate our emotions and make rational decisions. Sleep deprivation can also create problems with balance, reflexes, and motor skills, which can easily result in injury or car accidents when they “try” to drive.

A more serious, extreme, and long-term lack of sleep can cause numerous psychiatric disturbances. There have been some people that suffered from prolonged periods of sleep deprivation that reported symptoms that included disorientation, paranoia, and hallucinations. These symptoms can be upsetting, confusing, and terrifying for the person and those around them.

I am not a medical professional, but this is something I have been a witness to and was forced to research on because it can be scary and a little frustrating. If you or someone you know has experienced this, there is help from educated medical professionals. Going too long without sleep is extremely dangerous and very important. I can say from personal experience that watching someone battling with sleep deprivation can appear to be frightening.

Thank you for visiting my site today. I hope you had an amazing weekend that was filled with nothing but happiness. I hope you found the information in this post useful for you or someone you know. Allow me to reiterate that I am NOT a medical professional so nothing in this post is medical advice. I look forward to reading your comments and I will respond as quickly as I can. Please never forget that I am always sending y’all LOTS of love, comfort, support, and MANY positive vibes!

Always, Alyssa

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