Sleep Deprivation – Lack of Sleep

A lack of the required and necessary amount of sleep by the body is what is known as sleep deprivation. People can be deprived of sleep due to reasons such as insomnia, their own body and mind not giving in to sleep, or being deprived of sleep by other individuals and family members.

sleep deprivation effects

Sleep Deprivation Risks

Sleeping for less than 6 hours at night can pose to be a very serious risk. It can greatly affect nature characteristics in people, such as reaction times, judgments and coordination. According to researchers, drivers are specifically more vulnerable to the risks of sleep deprivation. It has been established that drivers who drive after being awake for 17 to 19 hours at a stretch perform way worse than those people having an alcohol level of 0.05% in the body.

Studies suggest that 16 to 60% of road accidents involve sleep deprivation cases. Researchers say that countries that follow drunk driving laws should also consider imposing restrictions on sleep deprived driving as well. The British Medical Association warns that other problems are associated with sleep deprivation beyond impaired driving skills. People who get little sleep have higher stress levels, depression and anxiety. Dangers of deprived sleep are not only limited to drivers. People working long shift hours are also at a risk of having troubles.

Possible Health Deflation in Teens Due To Sleep Deprivation

A rampant problem in teens is the lack of sufficient sleep. Adolescents are at a risk of having problems such as:

  • Emotional and cognitive difficulties
  • Accidents
  • Poor performance at school
  • Psychopathology

On normal school days, teenagers get of bed around 6.30 am (scantly 7 hours after going to bed), many of them board a school bus before 7.00 am and reach class by 7.30 am. In the case of adults, such meager timings affect the day-to-day functions, so it is easy to imagine how dramatic the effect of such timings can be on adolescents. Almost all teenagers are highly sleep deprived by the time they reach puberty. This is a contributing factor to possible health crisis and reduced lifespan in individuals throughout the world.

There is no doubt that sleep deprivation has dangerously negative effects on adolescents. Fatigue and drowsiness are the main cause of difficulties that occur due to lack of sufficient sleep. They result in school difficulties such as disciplinary problems, poor concentration, slow actions and sleepiness in classes. Come to think of it, what good does it do to try to teach teenagers so early in the morning? Most people’s answer to this is that it sort of builds a sense of discipline, responsibility and control in teenagers to wake up early and scale through the day. Teachers can be giving the most stimulating and interesting lectures. However, when children are sleep deprived and are at their sleepiest, the struggle to stay awake takes away any chance of alertness, focus, memory and understand.

Sleep Deprivation Management

effects of sleep deprivation

Lack of sufficient sleep is cumulative in nature. It keeps piling up various problems, which eventually crashes the body at some point. Preventing this happening is very important. The only cure is to have enough sleep. The following are a few tips to help sleep deprivation:

  • People should have 4 hours of uninterrupted sleep each day at the very least.
  • Frequent naps are always advised. Even short naps of just 20 to 90 minutes will be of great help.
  • Following a planned schedule of naps would be a good idea because sleep works in a cumulative manner. So, it will be like sorting sleep into a ‘sleep bank.’
  • People should try to keep up with their body’s natural circadian rhythm. Sleep deprivation worsens normal sleepiness when the normal circadian clockwork of the body is supposed to take over.
  • The use of excessive alcohol and tranquilizers, antihistamines and other drugs or medications leads to a loss of sleepiness. This leads to higher levels of sleep deprivation in people.
  • People that have problems going to sleep should try to create some comfortable sleeping arrangements or activities before bedtime. For example, a 20 minute workout, having a bath, brushing the teeth, etc. These help in creating the “mood to sleep”.
  • It sometimes happens that people wake up out of hunger in the middle of the night. This may be because they might have had their dinner very early in the evening, or at a different time from what’s normal for their body. This makes it necessary to stick to meal times. Also, having a light snack would be a good idea before going to bed.
  • Stimulants like coffee should be avoided. Such stimulants make the sleepy feeling go away, which in turn also makes it difficult for people to fall asleep when they are supposed to. People that take stimulants frequently tend to get addicted to them. This should be avoided, as it leads to sleep deprivation almost always.