Sleep Deprivation Has Health Consequences

Sleep deprivation can happen due to a number of different things.  Sleep deprivation is when you don’t get enough sleep on a regular basis.  Normal amount of sleep for an adult is between seven and eight hours of sleep every night.  Sleep deprivation can affect anyone.  About 25% of adults claim that they have sleep problems. 

Sleep deprivation can be caused from a sleep disorder, being over the age of 65, illness such as depression or chronic pain syndrome, not allowing enough time for sleep, or having a new baby at home that disrupts your normal sleep.  Without enough sleep lots of things can happen negatively to your body.  

Anymore it is becoming more normal to hustle and bustle 24 hours a day.  Where a lot of times sleep gets pushed to the back burner.  Everything else is a lot more important than your sleep. 

Did you know that not getting enough sleep puts you at a higher risk of dying sooner? 


Increases Health Risks

Sleep doesn’t just recharge our bodies, it recharges are brains and body systems as well.  Lack of sleep can also cause you to suffer from mood changes, trouble thinking or concentrating, high blood pressure, weakened immunity, risk of diabetes, weight gain, low sex drive, risk of heart disease, poor balance, or hallucinations.  Not enough sleep can also affect your reflexes, fine motor skills and even your judgement.  Lots of bad decisions can happen when you don’t have enough sleep.  Your body systems and brain need sleep for them to function correctly.  Symptoms you could suffer from are drowsiness, inability to concentrate, impaired memory, moodiness, or reduced physical strength.  

Memory Issues

Everyone has had their own fair share of overnighters.  But have you ever stayed up late studying something and then just hours later not being able to recall anything that you have just read? That is because when you sleep your brain makes your memories.  Lack of sleep can affect your retention of material, or events.  During your sleep cycles  your brain makes memories from what happened during your day.  Your memories are moved from the hippocampus to the prefrontal cortex which is long term memory.  When you don’t get enough sleep your brain doesn’t have time to move all these memories to long term memory which can lead to forgetfulness or brain fog.  There have been studies that show this can be a factor in why so many people that are 65 years and older have trouble remembering things, because they aren’t getting enough sleep at night to make those memories.  Causing them to have forgetfulness.  

Compromised Immune System

Not having enough sleep can cause your immune system to be slower at responding.  Allowing yourself to be more prone to illness.  If you are struggling to get your sleep at night, you may feel like you feel sick all the time and can’t get well.  This is because your body doesn’t have the energy that is needed to fight off infection.  Your digestive system won’t work normally without proper sleep either.  Lack of sleep could be the reason why you can’t lose weight.  Your body is unable to make two important hormones that are needed to lose weight.  They are hormones that make you feel full, when you are extremely tired you may have the urge to eat constantly because your body is trying to stay fueled.  This can get your digestive system off balance causing you to gain weight that then becomes harder to lose.  


Treatment Options

Treatment is dependent on what is causing you to have problems sleeping.  If you have a sleep disorder your doctor will work with you on ways to overcome this.  This could be taking medicated sleep aids to help you fall asleep at night.  Other medications can help if you have an underlying illness.  Treating those may help sleep come easier. 

If you suffer from sleep deprivation from having a newborn in the house, don’t worry eventually your baby will sleep more during the night.  If you find that it is becoming harmful to your health, ask for help.  See if a family member can help you watch the baby so you can get some rest.  Napping is not a long term solution for sleep deprivation, but it can help in the interim of this time your baby isn’t sleeping all the way through the night. 

Other things to try are to make sure you are truly tired when you get into bed.  You should be falling asleep within 15 to 20 minutes of laying down.  If you aren’t get up, go do a few things then lay back down.  To make sure you are tired for bedtime make sure you are getting some sort of exercise daily.  It can be helpful to work out a few hours before you go to sleep so your body has exerted any lasting energy it is holding onto. 

Also you will want to avoid having any caffeinated beverages too close to bed.  As well as avoid naps too close to nighttime as well.  Create a relaxing bedtime routine.  This could consist of a nice bubble bath, a calm shower, or even just reading in bed twenty minutes before you go to sleep.  Let your body unwind naturally so it knows it is ready to go to sleep. 


Take Away

Sleep is important.  It helps all the body work properly as well as being extremely important for your brain to make memories and retain information.  If you are having trouble remembering things, look at how much sleep you are getting and see if that may have something to do with it.  Average amounts of sleep for an adult is seven to eight hours of sleep daily.  Only when you miss this mark on a regular basis sleep deprivation is truly a concern.  It doesn’t have to be many times though before you start feeling the effects of missing that sleep your body needs. 

If you are regularly not getting enough sleep you could be suffering from sleep deprivation which can harm your body in a multiple of different ways.


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