Causes of Sleep Deprivation – Physical and Psychological

Causes of sleep deprivation have both physical and psychological effects. People that do not get a normal six hours sleep in the night on regular basis can suffer from sleep disorders or other sleep deprivation problems. Over time, not getting enough sleep makes people more vulnerable to the risks of injuries and serious illnesses. Finding out the reasons causing this helps people to overcome serious health problems.

Main Causes of Sleep Deprivation

The main causes of sleep deprivation are four in number. In some cases a mixture of these can be seen in people.

The Lifestyle

Lifestyles are the major governing factor in the way people lead their lives. What matters most with regards to sleep deprivation is the way people eat and drink. Drinking a lot of caffeine containing drinks makes it difficult to sleep well. Eating excessively and inappropriately affects the body’s weight, which leads to breathing problems, and eventually sleeping problems. When people struggle to sleep at night, the normal circadian pattern of the body gets affected. This completely causes an imbalance in the body’s natural ability to fall asleep.

Suffering of Medical Conditions

Some medical conditions can be causes of sleep deprivation. They can also be symptoms of larger and more severe problems, which affect the physical and emotional state of the body and make it difficult to sleep. Asthma for example, is a medical condition which makes it difficult for people to sleep at night, particularly because attacks are triggered towards late hours of the evening and night in most cases.

Using Medications

Not only do the medical conditions cause sleep deprivation, but so do the medications that patients use. Some medications affect the natural sleep patterns of the body, causing insomnia. People should immediately notify their doctors if they get sleep deprived after taking medications, instead of stopping the medications without consulting the doctor. By doing so, doctors may change the medications or dosages accordingly.

Suffering from Clinical Sleeping Disorders

When the causes of sleep deprivation are not obvious, it could be that the person is suffering from a clinical sleeping disorder. An example of a clinical sleeping disorder is sleep apnea, which makes the fatty tissues above the throat close off for short periods of time when the sufferer sleeps. This makes the sufferer awaken over and over again throughout the night, even though they may not realize it. In return, this leaves the sufferer sleep deprived and tired upon waking up.

When to Seek Help

Causes of sleep deprivation become so obvious at a point that people get to know when exactly to get help. In cases where medications are the causes behind sleep deprivation, the affected person should immediately consult a physician or doctor. In people whose lifestyles are the cause of problem need to make changes to their lifestyles. Those suffering from severe symptoms such as the following, should seek medical help as soon possible:

  • People suffering from insomnia very frequently.
  • People who snore and choke in their sleep.
  • People who stop breathing at intervals during the night.
  • When people wake up feeling tired and fatigued even upon a full nights sleep.
  • When the lack of sleep impairs the functionality and performance of people, making it difficult for them to handle activities.
  • When people experience other medical symptoms such as chest pains and breathing difficulties.

Substance and Medication Abuse Can Be Causes of Sleep Deprivation

Everything ranging from substance abuse, to medications and sleep disorders contributes to the development of dangerous problems of sleep deprivation. The following are some causes of sleep deprivation based on lifestyles along with some tips to help sleep better at night.


This is one of the main sleep deprivation causes. Sleep and stress are deeply linked, and sometimes are self-perpetuating. When people are stressed and are unable to sleep, they get more stressed. The best way to avoid this is by avoiding anything that is a stress factor, and by taking the time to take a break from the rush of life to reduce the stress levels.


This is a commonly overlooked cause of sleep deprivation. It is important to realize that a balanced diet is essential; for the overall health of people. The body still works while it sleeps, and therefore requires the proper nutrients to help it accomplish all the important tasks in the brain.

Over working

Over working and shift work takes a toll on the body’s natural clock work. In order to solve this problem, one should try to change their work hours to suitable timings.

Drugs and Alcohol

Stopping the use of alcohol and harmful drugs helps improve sleep problems. Excessive use of drugs and alcohol is one of the many causes of sleep deprivation, which leads severe disorders and other health crisis.