Where Has The Year Gone? Pt. 2 | What Happens When You Are Sleep Deprived?


All of us experience a sleepless night here and there.  Whether it be stress from work, kids, marriage or the holidays, lack of sleep can cause many changes to your personality, daily activity levels, and your relationships. 

Prolonged sleep deprivation can be indicative of a more serious health issue.

According to Medical News Today,

Sleep deprivation occurs when an individual gets less sleep than they need to feel awake and alert. People vary in how little sleep is needed to be considered sleep-deprived. Some people such as older adults seem to be more resistant to the effects of sleep deprivation, while others, especially children and young adults, are more vulnerable.

Although occasional sleep interruptions are generally no more than a nuisance, ongoing lack of sleep can lead to excessive daytime sleepiness, emotional difficulties, poor job performance, obesity and a lowered perception of quality of life.

According to NHS UK, one in three of us suffers from poor sleep.  As those sleepless nights build up, you are more at risk for obesity, heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, and a shortened life expectancy.

Chronic sleep deprivation can be caused by sleep apnea.  If you have prolonged sleep disruptions, this should be addressed with your general practitioner.  A sleep study may become necessary to diagnose sleep apnea. 

Men who have sleep apnea (breathing difficulties leading to sleep disruption), tend to have lower testosterone levels.  This can lower libido, affecting sexual health and impacting our relationships. 

Sleep deprivation can have significant psychological effects, besides making you feel terrible and grumpy!

According to this article, originally published on Psyblog

Links have been found between insomnia and mental illness.  Unfortunately, mental illness can also cause poor sleep.  Some symptoms of extreme lack of sleep can include psychosis, paranoia, extremely high energy levels, hallucinations, aggression and more.

Driving while sleep deprived is dangerous.  It can actually be worse than driving drunk, having many of the same effects, but is way less obvious to the driver. 

If you are experiencing sleep disruptions, it would be a good idea to keep a sleep log.  Many of the fitness wristbands have a sleep monitor as part of their performance app. 

Quiz your partner about your sleep behavior.  Have they noticed anything unusual, such as jerking, kicking or other changes? Chances are good that your physician will inquire about these things if you see him/her for a sleep study evaluation.

To read the full article from Psyblog, click here.

Rest up! Pay attention to your body.  Balance is so very important at this time of the year.