Sleep deprivation is a medical term to name a series of problems and conditions that cause a lack of a healthy number of sleeping hours. Even though this is not a specific disease, these conditions are affecting most of the adults on our daily basis, which is the reason why you need to know the cause and possible consequences of suffering from sleep deprivation or sleep deficiency.
According to the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (NIH) of the United States, sleep deprivation and deficiency are terms for conditions related to sleeping problems that involve symptoms such as:
- Not getting to sleep the adequate time (according to your age, between 7 to 9 hours in adults, children between 9 to 14 hours)
- Sleeping a wrong time of the day (trough daytime or work time mostly)
- You don’t feel rested. You have the sensation of not sleeping well or not getting the type of sleep that your body needs
- You suffer from sleep disorder as the consequence of a mental or physical illness
Sleep deprivation and deficiency are common sufferings in modern society. As this article says, at least one of three individuals suffers from them as a consequence of our modern lifestyle.
Every time, more people are recurring to sacrifice the right amount of sleep every day to “get more things done“. The problem is many of them don’t know the consequences lack of sleep can cause to their overall health, especially while getting older.
Another study named by the Department of Neurology from Columbia University says that at least half of the older adults – people over 65 years – are experiencing sleeping problems and health complications associated with long periods of sleep deprivation and deficiency.
Sleep deprivation probable causes
As mentioned before, a high percentage of people that are not getting their right amount of sleep tend to sacrifice their rest time to pursue their personal goals in entertainment, financial, educational, or working fields, seeing teenagers and young adults the most affected by sleep deprivation.
Family responsibilities as newborns, parents, or partners with illnesses can also cause the appearance of sleep-wake patterns over the night accompanied by insomnia and light sleep.
|Read also: How to Improve Your Mental Peace and Performance Through Quality Sleep?
Symptoms and complications
Sleep deprivation causes minor symptoms until scaling to the next ones:
- Inability to concentrate
- Partial memory loss
- Reduce physical strength
- More prone to suffer from infections, colds, and flu
The complications of these symptoms may include:
- Increase of the risk of suffering a stroke, heart disease or asthma attacks
- The augment of depression, anxiety, paranoia, and other mental illness as well as suicidal thoughts
- Science has demonstrated that sleep deprivation is the main cause of car accidents and plane crashes
- You can start suffering from hallucinations, cravings and severe mood swings due to sleep deprivation
Treatment and prevention
The treatment for sleep deprivation may vary depending on the level of your symptoms. On the other hand, adjusting your daily sleep routine and dietary regime can make amazing results to minimize the consequences of this condition.
By just going to bed when feeling tired, adjusting your sleep and waking schedule, avoiding eating or heavy meals at least 3 hours before going to bed, having a 20 minutes workout routine, turning off all your electronic devices before getting to the bed and reducing the consumption of caffeine, alcohol or nicotine you will help to set up your body for nights of rest while protecting your overall health.
Sleep Deprivation- Prevention
- Consistent Sleeping schedule
- Avoid short nap during the day
- Follow Bedtime Routine – having the same routine every day will help your brain to prepare for sleeping and slow down all the processes in the organism.
- Avoid Using Devices at least 1 hour before sleeping – electronic devices such as mobile phones, computers, laptops disrupt your biological processes and hormones.
- Clear Your Mind and Relax – try not to think about your daily activities before sleeping, leave your worries. Meditation before sleeping could help you to improve your focus and to feel more balanced.
Remember that, by just sleeping well, you will get slimmer, creative, and productive every day; increase your libido as well as your immune system so, consider all these aspects the next time Netflix tempts you to stay awake.
About The Author:
Maria Matthews is an experienced freelance writer reporting on health, fitness, and travel and covering the latest in food and nutrition. When she’s not writing, you’ll find her drinking tea or running around her hometown of Barcelona.