The Consequences of Sleep Deprivation

Sleep deprivation is a serious issue that can have far-reaching consequences. It occurs when you do not get enough sleep to meet your body’s needs and can lead to acute or chronic sleep deprivation. According to the National Sleep Foundation, most adults need 7 to 9 hours of sleep per night to feel rested, while older adults (age 65 and up) may only need 7 to 8 hours of sleep.[0] If you’re unable to get enough sleep, you can experience fatigue, impaired memory, and even physical health problems.

Fortunately, there are things you can do to improve your sleep. Develop healthy sleep habits and stick to a regular sleep schedule, going to bed and getting up at the same time each day, including weekends.[1] Limit caffeine and alcohol, avoid large meals late in the evening, and get some exercise during the day.[2] Exposure to natural light is also important, as it can help to regulate your body’s production of the sleep hormone melatonin.[2] Relaxation activities before bedtime, such as reading or listening to music, can also help to promote a good night’s sleep.[3]

Should these steps not be effective, or in the event that you encounter other sleep issues such as narcolepsy or sleep paralysis, it is recommended that you speak with your doctor. To assist in diagnosing any potential sleep disorders and uncovering health problems, treatments, or medications that may be impeding quality sleep, consulting with a doctor is recommended.[2]

Sleep deprivation is a serious issue that can have far-reaching consequences. It can lead to fatigue, impaired memory, and even physical health problems. To prevent sleep deprivation, develop healthy sleep habits and stick to a regular sleep schedule. It is advisable to not eat large meals, consume caffeine, or drink alcohol prior to going to[4] Exercise during the day, and get some exposure to natural light.[5] And lastly, relax with activities like reading or listening to music before bedtime. If these steps don’t help, talk to your doctor to address any underlying medical conditions or medications that could be causing the problem.

0. “What Happens When You Don’t Sleep for a Day?” fatiguescience.com, 20 Jan. 2023, https://fatiguescience.com/blog/what-happens-when-you-dont-sleep-for-a-day/

1. “Sleep Deprivation: Symptoms, Causes, and Effects” www.helpguide.org, 20 Jan. 2023, https://www.helpguide.org/articles/sleep/sleep-deprivation.htm

2. “Can’t Sleep? 31 Easy Tips for Getting Better Sleep Right Now” greatist.com, 20 Jan. 2023, https://greatist.com/health/cant-sleep-advice-and-tips

3. “What Sleep Is and Why All Kids Need It – Kids Health” kidshealth.org, 20 Jan. 2023, https://kidshealth.org/en/kids/not-tired.html

4. “Mood and sleep – Better Health Channel” www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au, 20 Jan. 2023, https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/healthyliving/Mood-and-sleep

5. “How to get through the day after a bad night’s sleep – Circle Health Group” www.circlehealthgroup.co.uk, 20 Jan. 2023, https://www.circlehealthgroup.co.uk/health-matters/health-and-wellbeing/how-to-get-through-the-day-after-a-bad-nights-sleep