What is sleep deprivation?
Human body requires natural and periodic state of rest in the form of sleep to rejuvenate and heal itself. Along with air, water and shelter, sleep is a basic necessity of life. The inability to fall asleep or not getting enough sleep is termed as Sleep Deprivation. It occurs when an individual gets less sleep than normal. Tossing and turning nights can interfere with your reflexes, decision making skills, emotional management, memory and level of alertness. Sleep deprivation drains the mental abilities and puts your health at risk. Studies reveal that, it is the main reason for many tragic accidents because it alters normal functioning of attention. According to science, an adult should get a sleep of at least 7 hours for best health and function. The only way to overcome sleep deprivation is to increase night sleep as there is no substitute for sleep.
Signs of sleep deprivation
- You will carve sugar and carbs
Lack of sleep produces a hormone called Ghrelin, which makes you hungry for fatty and sugary foods. It’s also harder to stop eating because the chemical in your body that tells you when you’re full, Leptin, is reduced with less sleep.
- You get clumsy
Studies found that going one night without sleep will give you same hand-to-eye coordination as a drunken person.
- Ages your Skin
When you are sleep deprived, your cortisol level spike. This can dehydrate your skin and break down the collagen that keeps your skin firm. In short, you will look older.
- You get sick more than usual
If you sleep less than 7 hours a night, then you are nearly three times more likely to catch a cold than someone who sleeps for at least 8 hours. While sleeping, immune system releases cytokines that are infection-fighting proteins. The less sleep you get, your body cannot produce adequate of the protective proteins which will lead to weak defences.
- Makes you forgetful
Researchers determined that brain events called “sharp wave ripples” are responsible for combining memory and they occur mostly during deep sleep. Lack of sleep can make your memory down.
What causes Sleep Deprivation?
- Personal Choice
Some people are unaware that their body needs higher demand of sleep. When people remain awake watching TV or enjoy hobbies, it disrupts sleep-wake cycle causing sleep deprivation. Many individual sacrifices sleep staying glued to electronic gadgets resulting stumble off to bed.
Cold, tonsillitis and sneezing can fragment the flow of sleep. These illnesses causes individual to wake up at frequent intervals during the night and is associated with sleep deprivation. The quality and quantity of sleep is directly proportional to number of health issues and diseases. The mental and emotional conditions, from asthma to depression also causes sleep problem.
- Sleep Disorders
Insomnia, Sleep Apnea or other condition that involve difficulty in sleeping at night is another reason for sleep deprivation. The cumulative long term effects of sleep disorders is associated with a wide range of deleterious health consequences including risk of hypertension, diabetes, heart attack and stroke.
- Sleeping Habits
Sleep habits can affect both the quality and quantity of sleep. Having alcohol or caffeine close to bedtime can increase the difficulty to fall asleep. Lying in bed worried rather than relaxing can disrupt sleep. Bulimia and other eating disorders can lead to night time restlessness and daytime drowsiness.
- Work-Life balance
Shift workers and other professionals engaged in 24*7 services are unable to balance to their work and life. They have irregular sleep pattern and fail to get good sleep mostly. Sleep deprivation is the major reason for poor concentration, memory problem and absenteeism. Statistics shows that shift workers are at increased risk for sleep deprivation.
Sleep has a significant role both in mental and physical health. A good sleep can back away your every day problems to an extend.
Good Night and Good Life to you all !