A sleep deprived individual has many side effects to worry about! Browse this article for an insight on sleep deprivation side effects.

Side Effects Of Sleep Deprivation

“If you can't sleep, then get up and do something instead of lying there worrying. It's the worry that gets you, not the lack of sleep.” – Dale Carnegie. And most of us would know the truth behind this statement. The human body needs atleast eight hours of rest everyday to function in a proper and efficient manner. Rejuvenation of body cells and muscles are a must if you need to feel refreshed and for this our body requires the good old slumber therapy. These days, the root cause of insomnia is a growing belief that we can complete the required sleep cycle within a period of four hours and feel perfectly normal later. But, this is untrue. Eventually the effects of this scarcity get to you and hamper your daily processes. Under normal conditions, if you are not sleeping for 7-8 hours a day and are feeling lethargic as a result, then you are probably suffering from sleep deprivation. Insomnia is slightly different as it involves not being able to fall asleep under any circumstance while sleep deprivation means just rejecting sleeping for an ideal time. Although some people can survive on very less sleep, you might still want to know about this condition’s syndrome just to be on the safer side!
Sleep Deprivation Side Effects
Physical Side Effects
  • Headaches, blurred vision and dizziness are some of the first signs of sleep deprivation.
  • It also leads to feelings of nausea and sometimes a weakening of the immune system. A person might feel feverish and develop colds and other illnesses rather easily.
  • Chronic sleep loss can generally have an adverse effect on the overall health of a person and may lead to obesity, diabetes, hypertension and other lifestyle illnesses.
  • Other, rather general effects, of sleep deprivation are: aching muscles, bags under the eyes, fainting, tremors, hernia, weight loss/gain, slurred speech, constant yawning and sometimes, as severe as the fatal familial insomnia disease leading to coma.
  • They say hard work and staying up late, never killed anyone. But, think again! One of the possible side effects of continued lack of sleep is death. This is because the immune system is weakened without ample sleep and the body is bared open to all kind of infections.
  • Lack of sleep leads to a significant decrease in the number and activity of the WBCs and hence growth hormone is also reduced. A scary statistic shows that people who sleep less than four hours per night are more likely to die sooner.
Mental Side Effects
  • Not only physical effects, but the mental effects also arise quickly owing to lack of sleep.
  • Some of the effects include: lack of concentration, slow reaction time, hallucinations, memory loss, irritability and psychosis.
  • Lack of sleep leads to stress and anxiety, which leads to a state of acute depression and despair.
  • Mental confusion, extreme indecisiveness and a clouding of thoughts are all definitive signs of insufficient sleep.
  • Research suggests that irrespective of the body sleeping, the brain, when tired, shuts down sending the individual in a state called microsleep (where the body is conscious but the brain shuts down) thereby adversely affecting cognitive function. This is the chief cause of road accidents on long routes.
Effects On Children
  • Surprisingly, children are the most prone to any of the above symptoms and the only potent solution is to nip the problem in the bud itself.
  • Kids who fight sleep are most often the hyperactive ones and that also can be a disorder in itself. Surprised? Yes, when a child is bursting with energy all day long without rest, then he is probably in the danger zone. So, be careful!
  • Another lesser known fact is that children who stay extremely active all day and show no signs of tiring even beyond their bedtime are most probably restless (and not energetic as you thought) from all the exertion of the day and are so fatigued that sleep doesn’t come easy to them.
These are some of the side effects of sleep deprivation. To prevent and fight this disorder, simple steps like sleeping earlier than usual, relaxing a bit before bedtime and ensuring good physical health can be adopted as regular lifestyle choices. We hope that this article answered a few of your questions and made life a little easier for you!

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