Sleep, we all need and love a good and sound sleep. You might have noticed that when someone wakes you up while your sleep is not completed you get easily annoyed or irritated. You stay awake till late at night if you have to work on the final document for school or work till late at night. Or you are binge-watching your favorite show. Have you woke up all night to watch your favorite show? All these reasons could lead to sleep deprivation and results in not properly functioning of your body and mind.

 

 

How People Get Sleepy?

We thankfully grow sleepy due to signals from our body telling us that we are tired. And signals from the environment telling us that it’s dark outside. The increase in sleep-inducing chemicals, like adenosine and melatonin, send us into a light doze that grows deeper, making our breathing and heart rate slow down and our muscles relax. This-REM sleep is when DNA is repaired and our body replenishes themselves for the day ahead.

Sleep deprivation data
Chart representing need of sleep by Age. Data by Sleepadvisor

 

 

Stages of sleep

Rapid eye movement (REM) sleep and non-REM sleep ( it has three different stages). These are linked to specific brain waves and neural activity. Everyone cycle through all stages of non-REM and REM sleep many times during sleep, along with deeper REM periods occurring toward morning.

Stage 1 Non-REM sleep

In stage 1 Non-REM sleep change is seen from wakefulness to sleep. It lasts for several minutes, in the meantime this short period of relatively light sleep, breathing, heartbeat, and eye movements slow down, and your muscles relax with occasional twitches. Brain waves begin to slow down.

Stage 2 Non-REM sleep

In stage 2 non-REM sleep light sleep is seen before entering the deep sleep. In this step, your muscles relax further from the previous stage. Your body temperature decreases, heartbeat and breathing slow down and eye movements stop. Brain wave activity slows down but brief bursts of electrical activity are marked. You spend more time in stage 2 than in other sleep stages.

Stage 3 Non-REM sleep

In stage 3 non-REM sleep is the time when you are deep in your sleep. It is required so that you feel refreshed in the morning. Heartbeat and breathing are at their lowest levels during this stage. Your muscles are relaxed and brain waves are even slower.

REM sleep

REM sleep occurs in about 90 minutes after falling asleep. Your eye movements are rapid and breathing becomes faster. Heart rate and blood pressure increase to near waking levels. Your arms and muscles become paralyzed temporarily, to prevent you from acting out your dreams.

 

 

Why People are Sleep Deprived?

There might be many reasons behind sleep deprivation. 

Poor Sleeping Routine

Poor sleeping routine: Everybody is busy nowadays, so we have busy lives and we would like to do more work done. To do more work done people stay awake. People continue these habits and think they are working hard. But they are harming their body.

Stress

Stress: Second, we are stressed. Stress and anxiety keep us awake sometimes. It can contribute to the higher or lower blood pressure of a person. There are numerous reasons a person could be stressed.

Use of Gadgets

Use of gadgets: the most important Third is technology. People spend hours without realizing in apps like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Mail, and many more out there. We are addicted to these apps not to forget Netflix where you love to binge-watching the show. A surge of dopamine is released while using these gadgets if we see something interesting and that surge of dopamine keeps us awake.

Undiagnosed Sleeping Disorders

Undiagnosed sleeping disorders:  If someone is having a hard time falling asleep they should consult a doctor. Chances are the person who has any sleeping disorder. For example, sleep apnea is a sleep disorder in which breathing fluctuates, it repeatedly stops and starts. 

Staying awake can cause serious bodily harm. When we lose sleep, learning, memory, mood, and reaction time are affected. Sleeplessness may also cause inflammation, hallucinations, high blood pressure, and it’s even been linked to diabetes and obesity.

Negative Effects of Sleep Deprivation

negative effects of sleep deprivation
Negative Effects of Sleep Deprivation

Different Consequences of Sleep Deprivation

Obesity

People who are sleep deprived have chances to get overweight. They are tired as they don’t get enough sleep and avoid exercise. Do you also skip your exercise routine because of tiredness? Share your experiences with us in the comment section. 

If someone stays awake longer they can also be trapped in overeating habit. Sleep deprivation disturbs the balance of hormone for appetite which results in sleep-deprived people feel more hungry than others who have enough sleep. So, not having enough sleep, not doing enough exercise, overeating almost every other day. Yes, you are thinking right it will result in weight gain.

 

 

High Blood Pressure

Being sleep deprived can increase your blood pressure. According to researchers, the link between sleep deprivation and cardiovascular system problems is increasingly establishing but still less understood.

Memory Loss

While you sleep, your body is busy processing the information you collected. If you are sleep deprived the brain can’t consolidate the memories. In that case, the person could not remember things correctly.

Are you sleep-deprived and experience the same problems? So, start taking enough sleep and let your body replenish itself while you are sleeping.

Difficulty in Focusing

If a person is sleep-deprived it cannot concentrate on one thing like the person having enough sleep. It can affect your logical reasoning skills. In this condition, you can get easily confused. 

Immune System

While you sleep, your body produces different substances like antibodies and cytokinesis. It helps in protecting your body from viruses and bacteria. But if you stay awake your body is not able to produce antibodies and cytokinesis which means you will be prone to getting sick easily and may take longer to recover from illness. So, that’s why, when you are sick, the best thing you can do is to get a good night’s sleep.

 

 

Depression

Sleep deprivation plays a role in depression. In this state your body does not replenish so the stress is increased. Lack of sleep due to illness or personal matters can make the situation worse.

Preventive Methods of Sleep Deprivation

  • Avoid taking long naps in the afternoon. Naps give an energy boost to your body but a nap should be less than 45 minutes. Long naps can affect your sleep.
  • Try to avoid the intake of caffeine a few hours before your bedtime.
  • Make a habit of going to bed at the same time whether it’s a weekday or weekend.
  • Try to avoid using your electronic devices one hour before your bedtime. Take some rest from social media, Netflix, etc give some peace to your mind.
  • Try to relax your mind before bedtime by mediation, reading books, or by bathing.
  • Avoid smoking or intake of alcohol. Smoking is injurious to health as well to your brain which further affects your sleeping pattern.
  • Take your dinner three hours before bedtime. 7 PM is the appropriate time for dinner but you can manage according to your routine.
  • Avoid junk food and try to follow a balanced diet. Needless to say, eat healthy food.
  • Try to take short walks. Make yourself indulged with physical activities 
  • Use a fitness band to track your sleep. And use your sleeping data to make your sleeping routines.

 

 

Conclusion

Well, there could be a lot of reasons for sleep deprivation. Sleep deprivation can affect our body as well as the brain. Before bedtime tries to relax as much as possible for a sound sleep. Avoid gadgets and try to read books.

If nothing is helping you to fell asleep you should immediately consult a doctor. They can guide you better in a serious situation. In the future, technology like Neuralink would help people to fight sleep deprivation but until then we have to fight with it ourselves.

Are you still willing to watch Netflix all night? Let me know your thoughts about sleep in the comments section. 

Hi everyone, I'm pursuing higher education right now. I wish to enlighten the world with the importance of humanity and the bond we share with each other.

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