When you get less hours of sleep than what’s recommended for your age, you are sleep deprived. The amount of shuteye that you need is different from another person’s need.
Unfortunately, most people are sleep deprived because of work, obligations or medical conditions. Some people may take this deprivation lightly. However, it is important to realize that there are negative effects whenever you deprive yourself of those z's.
Sleep deprivation affects our interpretation of events. We do not assess situations accurately and act on them unwisely due to the limited time that our brain has rested. If your work demands your good judgment, it is wise to get a good night sleep.
Increases Your Risk for Stroke
Studies have shown that people who get less shuteye are four times in risk of having stroke even without predisposing factors such as family history and obesity.
Sleep deprivation can lead to depression. In a study made in 2005, results show that people who were diagnosed with depression or anxiety were more likely to sleep less than six hours at night. Insomnia has the strongest link to depression. People with insomnia are five times more likely to develop depression.
A research in 2009 determined that brain events called “sharp wave ripples” are responsible for consolidating memory. Sharp wave ripples occur mostly during the deepest levels of your siesta.
Makes You Fat
Lack of z's is related in increase in hunger, appetite, and possibly to obesity. People who rest less than six hours a day were almost 30% more likely to become obese than those who slept seven to nine hours. Lack of sleep also stimulates cravings for high-fat, high-carbohydrate foods.
Other Effects of Sleep Deprivation
- Lack of motivation
- Lack of concentration
- Attention deficits
- Reduced vigilance
- Longer reaction times
- Lack of energy
- High blood pressure
Coping with Sleep Deprivation
The only way for you to overcome snooze deprivation is to increase your sleeping time to satisfy your biological need. The following strategies provide a short-term effect to reduce the effects mentioned above.
Caffeine is the most ingested stimulant, as it is used regularly by most adults in liquid, tablet or gum form. It can give improved alertness and performance after acute sleep restriction. However, higher doses are required after a night or more of total bedtime loss. Frequent use of caffeine can lead to tolerance and negative withdrawal effects.
- Sleep Prior to Deprivation
You can get extra shuteye before a period of sleep loss. It may decrease some of the negative performance and alertness effects.
- Other Stimulants
When you are in a situation where you cannot snooze no matter what you do, medications may become necessary. These medications can reduce many of the major effects of sleep deprivation. Medications include amphetamines, methylphenidate and modafinil. These should only be used under the supervision of a medical doctor.