Effects of sleep deprivation

The optimum amount of sleep differs from one individual to another. However, it is recommended that grownups should at least get 7 hours of sleep per night. Statistics also show that about one in every three adults fails to have adequate amounts of sleep. Having intermittent disruptions to your sleep can be irritating, while continued insufficient sleep can affect an individual’s performance at school or work, their quality of life, their overall health, and their capacity to function. Always ensure you have health insurance. This will be beneficial as when you visit a hospital; the health insurance will pay the bill. To get a dependable health insurer, visit online review sites such as Britainreviews.co.uk to look deep into UK health insurance companies reviews. Only choose the positively reviewed companies. This article looks at the effects of and how to treat sleep deprivation.

Effects on the respiratory system

There is a connection between the respiratory systems and sleep. Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), a breathing disorder that occurs at night, can disturb one’s sleep lowering the sleep quality one gets. This leaves a person more susceptible to infections of respiratory symptoms such as flu and the common cold. Sleep deprivation can also result in the worsening of existing respiratory illnesses, including chronic lung illness.

The central nervous system

The central nervous systems is the body’s key information highway. Sleep is a crucial element needed for the body to function appropriately. However, if one has chronic insomnia, this interrupts the processing and sending of information by your body. In our sleep, there is the formation of pathways between our brains nerve cells, which helps us remember the new information we’ve learned. When we are sleep deprived, this leads to exhaustion of the brain, and it’s thus unable to perform its functions appropriately. With lack of enough sleep, it becomes challenging to learn new things or even concentrate. It also has the effect of delaying the signals sent by your body, increasing one’s risk of getting involved in accidents, e.g. while driving. Being sleep deficient also has adverse effects on our emotions and mental capabilities. It may make one prone to mood swings, make one feel impatient, and compromise an individual’s creativity and decision-making process. If lack of enough sleep continues for long enough, hallucinations will cause one to see or hear things that don’t exist. In persons with bipolar mood disorder, sleep deprivation can cause mania. There are other psychological risks such as:

  • Paranoia
  • anxiety
  • impulsive behaviour
  • suicidal thoughts
  • depression

Lack of sleep can also cause micro-sleep during the day. Microsleep involves episodes that you will fall asleep for a few seconds without realising that you are falling asleep. A person experiencing microsleep is unable to control it, which is very dangerous while driving. It also makes one more prone to getting injured while operating heavy machinery.

Digestive system

Sleep deprivation, especially when accompanied by eating huge amounts of foods and failure to engage in exercises, is a risk factor that can cause one to become obese and overweight. The amount of sleep you have affects the level of two hormones in your body; hormone ghrelin and leptin, which controls one’s feeling of fullness and hunger. Leptin sends signals to the brain, informing it when you’ve eaten enough. Lack of sleep reduces hormone leptin levels while increasing the level of ghrelin, an appetite stimulant. The flux in these hormone levels explains why some tend to overeat at night and others like night-time snacking. Sleep deprivation also leaves one feeling too tired to exercise. With time, inadequate physical exercise causes one not to burn enough calories and not build a muscle mass, leading to one being overweight. When one fails to have enough sleep, the body releases little insulin amounts, which is the hormone responsible for regulating sugar levels in the blood. Thus, lack of sleep reduces the body’s ability to tolerate glucose and is also linked with insulin resistance, which increases one’s risk of having obesity and diabetes.

Treating sleep deprivations

Sleek deprivation most basic treatments is to get sufficient sleep about 7 to 9 hours per night. This can be hard, especially if your sleep deprivation has been for an extended period. If you have long periods of sleep deprivation, you may require help from a sleep specialist or a doctor who will potentially diagnose and treat your sleep disorder.

In conclusion, sleep deprivation, especially over long periods, can be risky to your health. Always ensure you get adequate amounts of sleep.