are probably aware of the fact you need your sleep; it will make you
feel more rested and less stressed. But are you aware of the fact that
sleep deprivation has much more serious consequences, and can be
harmful to much more than just your general well being?
of the sources of poor sleep is a stressful
lifestyle with a busy job.
Paradoxically, today, more than ever before, there is a lot of focus on
public health. You can hardly turn on the TV without being confronted
with health programs that teach us to make healthy, low fat meals and
encourages plenty of exercise. Still, in our busy modern lives, sleep
is the one aspect of health that often
Furthermore the damages of smoking and excessive drinking are
widely informed about in all media. The significance
of sleep is proven
to often have as much effect on your health as a bad diet, smoking and
drinking. Several studies from around the world prove this. Sleep
really is vital to your health.
schedules are partly to blame. Whereas people used to generally
work an ordinary 8-4 work day, people nowadays often have a much more
varied schedule and especially young people have a tendency to stay up
very late and get up very late.
New technology has meant that we are constantly online,
created a completely new way of working that we do not know all the
consequences of. Sleep deprivation, however, is one of them.
Effects of Sleep Deprivation
Strangely enough, there are often no
immediate, physical consequences
of a lack of sleep. People can ordinarily go jogging, do aerobics or
even if they are getting far too little sleep. Sleep is first
and foremost about the brain and its function, although lack of it can
also lead to more serious symptoms: snoring being just one of them.
Scientists claim that the
mortality rate in people who do not get much sleep is much higher than
in people who do. It is estimated that just 17 hours without sleep has
an effect on the brain corresponding to a blood alcohol content of
0.05: close to the limit for drunk driving.
Sleep deprivation will eventually have these effects on most people:
Without enough sleep it will be harder for you to find words and your
speech will become slurred.
Your ability to concentrate will be significantly lowered if you are
deprived of sleep. Many people find it difficult to do their work, both
because they feel slow and because it is harder to get motivated.
As mentioned above, sleep deprivation can make you less able to work.
If you need to be creative and think “out of the box,” getting enough
sleep is essential.
Most people can attest to feeling much less patient and flexible when
they are tired. It is easy to get irritated with co-workers, family
etc., and generally be in a bad mood, when you do not make sure to get
good night’s sleep.
Your memory gets worse the more
tired you are. If you are suffering
from serious sleep deprivation, this symptom can be very noticeable.
All in all, the mental effects of sleep deprivation can be damaging to
your everyday life and prevent you from feeling and performing
Once you do manage to fall asleep however, the increased fatigue
combined with low-quality sleep will often cause you to snore.
One of the ways that researchers can see whether a person lacks sleep
is the number of so called “microsleep
episodes” they experience.
During these episodes, which are often caused by sleep deprivation,
mental fatigue, depression, sleep
apnea, hypoxia, narcolepsy and
hypersomnia, a person falls asleep briefly for seconds without
realizing it. This, of course, increases the risk of accidents in all
activities, but especially when driving, operating machinery etc. The
episodes can be compared to losing
consciousness for a few seconds
every now and then, which obviously would be considered very dangerous.
Increased risk of
accidents is one reason why people who get too little sleep often live
a shorter life than others. Sleep deprivation is believed to have
caused the Exxon oil
spill, the Challenger
space shuttle disaster and the Chernobyl nuclear disaster.
Furthermore it is estimated that about one in every 6 road accident
fatalities happen because the driver has not slept enough.
deprivation also has an impact on your lifespan in other
It appears, for instance, that lack of sleep can contribute to cancer,
- "sleep hormone" - prevents cancer cell
formation. The production of melatonin slows down with less
for a strong immune system, and many
scientists believe that it helps to prevent and combat tumors in the
body. Lack of sleep therefore leads to a weakened immune system, and
can easily lead to ailments such as colds and in long term to much more
Melatonin is also called the growth hormone, and is essential for
growing children, but certainly also adults; lack of it results in a
decreased ability to build muscle and burn fat. So you could say that a
lack of sleep directly contributes to both sleep
apnea and weight gain.
When you do not sleep enough, your body also produces less cortisol,
which is essential to increase blood sugar, strengthen the immune
system, and aids in fat, protein and carbohydrate metabolism. This
hormone is especially important if you are trying to lose weight, which
will definitely make you sleep better.
Sleep deprivation and snoring, for the above reason and many others,
appetite and thereby give you higher risk of obesity and
diabetes. Overall, sleep deprivation can have serious consequences to
your overall health, so anyone who has trouble sleeping should find a
way to sleep
better and stay healthier.
you experiencing some of the symptoms described above? Are you
wondering whether you're suffering from sleep deprivation? The Epworth Sleepiness Scale
is a tool that's often used to determine how serious a person's
sleeping problems really are. Take the test, and see for yourself!
to Causes of Sleep
to the Snoring