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Devastating effects of sleep deprivation

Many of us have felt exhausted, cranky and nodding for days after a night of tossing and turning. But after sleeping with your eyes closed for the recommended number of hours you will feel something more than just nervous and angry. Although we all know that lack of sleep has some adverse effects on our health, but what are they?

Well, prolonged sleep deprivation ruins your body's systems, it's true. Lack of sleep shakes your mental health, puts your physical health at stake. It causes problems like weight gain and weakening of body internal system.

Read below to learn 

  • What is Sleep deprivation 
  • Common causes of sleep deprivation
  • How to stop sleep deprivation
  • Effects of sleep deprivation on - 

  1. Central Nervous system
  2. Immune system
  3. Respiratory system
  4. Weight gain 


  • Conclusion

But first let us know what is sleep deprivation?

What is sleep deprivation? 

Sleep deprivation means not getting the recommended amount of sleep. The recommended hours of sleep is seven to eight hours oer night for an adult. Chronic sleep deprivation causes health problems.

What are the causes of lack of sleep?

Although sleep deprivation is not a disease in itself, it is a side effect or result of certain other health disorders, medications or other life conditions.

Sleep deprivation is more common in older people rather than young adults. However, older people need just as much sleep as younger people. Still, a large older population gets lighter and fewer hours of sleep.

Some common causes of sleep deprivation are:

Sleeping disorders: These include sleep apnea, narcolepsy, insomnia GERD Aging: This affects sleep patterns due to health disorders and sometimes medication. Illness: Common issues are depression, chronic pain syndrome, Alzheimer's, cancer, stroke some other factors are late-night awakening habits, especially in young children, newborn or changes in environment. 

What are the symptoms? 

At first, the symptoms are minor, but over a period of time, the problem can become serious. early symptoms are sleepiness decreased concentration memory loss physical fatigue becoming more prone to infection severe symptoms include an increased risk of developing disorders such as Depression Hallucinations Stroke Asthma Severe mood swings Insomnia Narcolepsy.

What is the treatment for lack of sleep?

Treatment of the problem depends on the severity of the problem. For the first stage, doctors may not prescribe medication and may want you to adopt self-care methods. For more serious disorders, doctors may try other specific treatment plans such as:

Sleeping pills:

But the effectiveness of the drugs decreases after a few weeks of light therapy: it can help a person with severe insomnia. Light therapy involves re-adjustment of the internal biological clock. CPAP machine: Another option in a person with sleep apnea is the use of a continuous positive airway pressure machine. This device provides a continuous flow of air through the mask and keeps the airway open.

How to stop sleep deprivation? 

Small and simple actions can make a difference and may rssult in improvement in your sleep. Doing regular exercise for half an hour every day helps you sleep well at night. Another way is to reduce your intake of caffeine, nicotine and alcohol, which help you sleep well. Quitting smoking, limiting daytime naps, avoiding caffeine after noon, going to bed at the same time, waking up at the same time every night, timing your bedtime every morning during weekends and holidays sticking up, doing relaxing activities one hour before bed such as taking a hot bath, reading a book, meditating, avoiding heavy meals before bedtime, avoiding using electronic devices just before bedtime, regular during the day Exercising moderately Reducing alcohol consumption Quitting smoking If the problem persists, consult your doctor to diagnose an underlying health condition.

Effects of sleep deprivation

Sleep deprivation can have profound and long-term effects on health. Sleep deprivation can leave negative impacts on your physical, mental and psychological disorders. 

Some of the major systems affected by the problem are discussed below.

• Central Nervous System 

The central nervous system is the information gateway of the body. Adequate sleep is required for this system to function properly because lack of sleep affects the processing of information in the brain.

During sleep, new pathways are formed between nerve cells that help you remember the information you have learned. In the absence of sleep, the brain feels tired and is unable to perform its functions properly. Sleep-deprived people are less likely to not able to concentrate and learning new things. It also reduces the coordination between the mind and the brain and increases the chances of a delayed response to signals.

Irregular sleep patterns also harm a person's mental abilities and emotional well-being. It badly affects creative skills of a person. Long-term sleep deprivation can lead to psychological disorders. some of them are

  • Hallucinations
  • Suicidal thoughts 

• Immune system

During sleep, the immune system produces antibodies and cytokines. These are substances that are important in the body to fight off foreign invaders such as viruses and bacteria. Specific cytokines in the immune system help improve sleep and give the immune system more strength to protect the body from diseases.

Lack of sleep prevents the immune system from effectively protecting the body from diseases. Prolonged sleep deprivation makes a person more vulnerable to diseases such as diabetes and heart problems.

• Respiratory system 

The relationship between sleep and the respiratory system is both closely linked. Obstructive sleep apnea is a nocturnal disorder that impairs sleep quality by disrupting sleep.

When you wake up repeatedly in the night, it leads to lack of sleep, making the person vulnerable to respiratory infections. It causes the common cold, flu and even makes existing respiratory problems like chronic lung disease worse.

Lack of sleep causes weight gain

In addition to overeating and not exercising, a significant risk factor for obesity is lack of sleep. Sleep affects the levels of leptin and ghrelin, the hormones responsible for satiety and hunger, respectively. In the absence of adequate sleep, the brain reduces leptin and increases ghrelin levels. The influx of this appetite stimulant may explain the factor of nocturnal snacking, leading to obesity.

• Lack of sleep can make a person feel tired and physically inactive during the day. 

Overtime reduces physical activity and makes you fat by burning fewer calories. Less sleep—Another contributing factor to weight gain is low levels of insulin production after eating. In addition, lack of sleep also causes an increase in the body's tolerance to glucose. This disruption reduces insulin production and leads to obesity.

According to a study linking cardiac system insomnia, heart attack and stroke, sleep-deprived people are at increased risk of these diseases. Sleep affects the process that helps keep the heart and blood vessels healthy.

• Sleep Heals our body

Sleep also plays an important role in enhancing the body's ability to repair and heal blood vessels and heart tissue. Researchers also believe that insufficient sleep leads to disturbances in underlying health processes such as glucose metabolism, blood pressure and inflammation.

Another study claims there is a link between sleep apnea and heart health. Men with sleep apnea are 58 percent more likely to develop cardiovascular problems than men who get enough sleep at night.

The endocrine system plays an important role in sleep hormone production. At least 3-4 hours of uninterrupted sleep is necessary for production of testosterone. Frequent awakenings can disrupt hormone production. 

Interrupted sleep 

also affects the production of growth hormone, especially in children. In addition, growth hormone is also needed for building muscle and repairing cells and tissues. Although growth hormone is released throughout the day by the pituitary gland, adequate sleep is essential to aid in the release of this hormone in the meantime.


Sleep deprivation affects all systems of the body, including physical and mental health. Sleep is important in all age groups and a lack of it can affect a person's cognitive abilities. However, its impact can be disastrous for the young population, as they are in the developmental stage.

Sleep deprivation should not be ignored at any stage of life. Appropriate medical care and treatment should be adopted to minimize the damage in future.

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