What is sleep deprivation and is it unhealthy? Sleep deprivation is caused by a lack of consistent and high-quality sleep. If you get less than 7 hours of sleep per day, it can give you potential health issues if you do it for too long. If you don’t get enough sleep, it will affect your brain and your body systems won’t function that well.
Some of the symptoms of sleep deprivation are:
- Extreme Fatigue
- Frequent Yawning
- Mood Swings
Some research review studies back in 2010 revealed that sleeping to little at night can increase the risk of early death.
What is sleep deprivation and is it unhealthy? Photo credit: iStock- fizkes
Taking stimulants and caffeine may help if you are tired but it won’t last that long. Living off caffeine and stimulants is unhealthy and not sustainable. If your body needs to sleep, then you should try to fall asleep as there are no shortcuts to that.
The central nervous is your information pathway and if you don’t get enough sleep, it disrupts its functionality. Sleep deprivation affects your brain and prevents it from performing its regular cerebral duties. That’s why when you are sleeping it is hard to concentrate or remember anything.
When you are deprived of sleep it affects:
- Your mental acuity
- Your emotional state
- Affects how you make decisions and affects your processing and creativity.
If you are deprived of sleep long enough it can cause hallucinations. And you will start seeing things that are not even there.
Sleep deprivation can cause severe symptoms in people that have bipolar mood disorder.
- Suicidal Thoughts
When you sleep it provides a protective invisible shield around your body to prevent viruses and bad bacteria from entering. Sleep produces antibodies that fight infections. These cytokines help to fight against illnesses that may come about. Getting enough sleep helps to improve your immune system.
Long sleep deprivation increases your risk of chronic diseases such as diabetes and heart disease. People who don’t get enough good sleep are more likely to get cardiovascular disease. There was an analysis study that showed that insomnia presents an elevated risk of heart attack and stroke.
A lack of sleep can affect two hormones which are leptin and ghrelin. And this controls the feeling of hunger and fullness. Leptin will tell your brain that you have had enough to eat. If you don’t get enough sleep your brain will lower your leptin and raise your ghrelin, and this is an appetite stimulant.
Sleep deprivation lowers your tolerance for glucose and causes your body to release less insulin after you eat. These things can cause you to be overweight or can cause diabetes mellitus.
One of the best ways to prevent sleep deprivation is to force yourself to get about 7 to 8 hours of quality sleep per day.
“One of the best ways to prevent sleep deprivation is to force yourself to get about 7 to 8 hours of quality sleep per day.” Celebrity Fitness & Nutrition Expert Obi Obadike
Some things to help you maintain a healthy sleep schedule:
- Going to bed at the same time
- Don’t exercise late at night
- Stay away from caffeine late at night
- Limit daytime naps
- Try waking up at the same time in the morning time.
The Bottom Line is sleep deprivation is quite common in our society and it can cause health problems if you don’t figure out how to fix the problem.
There are so many trivial things you can do to fix the issue such as sleeping at the same time every day, avoiding caffeine late at night, not exercising late at night. If you can make it a goal to get 7 to 8 hours of high-quality sleep a day that can help tremendously with your sleep issues and chronic insomnia.
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- Cappuccio FP, D’Elia L, Strazzullo P, Miller MA. Sleep duration and all-cause mortality: a systematic review and meta-analysis of prospective studies. Sleep. 2010 May;33(5):585-92. doi: 10.1093/sleep/33.5.585. PMID: 20469800; PMCID: PMC2864873.
- He Q, Zhang P, Li G, Dai H, Shi J. The association between insomnia symptoms and risk of cardio-cerebral vascular events: A meta-analysis of prospective cohort studies. European Journal of Preventive Cardiology. 2017;24(10):1071-1082. doi:10.1177/2047487317702043