Signs of Sleep Deprivation

Sleep deprivation is a common health concern among adults. Population-based studies show that nearly 30% of American adults report sleeping an average of six or fewer hours per night. Yet, while sleep needs vary by individual, the majority of adults need seven to nine hours per night to feel well and perform at optimal levels.

Signs of Sleep Deprivation

Following are some common signs of sleep deprivation. If you think you may be sleep deprived, seek the counsel of a healthcare provider and create a plan to address it. The long-term effects of sleep deprivation can be harmful to your health and wellbeing.

Common Signs of Sleep Deprivation

Memory issues

Lack of concentration and memorizing ability can indicate that you are affected by sleep deprivation. When you are sleeping, your brain forms connections, which can help process, trace, and track new information. A lack of sleep may impact both long-term and short-term memory negatively. Being memory impaired can create other issues in your day to day life. Your creativity, problem-solving skills, and concentration are reduced significantly when you don't have enough sleep.

Weakened immune system

Sleep is the most important period for your body to replace any old and damaged cells with new ones. During sleep, your body will normally produce enough white blood cells, improving your immune system significantly. Too little sleep may weaken your immune system, which can have lasting effects. You may be more susceptible to diseases, such as cold, flu, cough, etc. If you want to do everything you can to protect your body and immune system, you may want to learn how to solve this potential insomnia issue. 

Uncomfortable or unusual feeling in your heart

Lack of sleep will cause your heart to work extra hard. Sleep deprivation will increase the blood pressure in your body and your heart is left to do all of the catch-up work. Lack of sleep will also increase the production of unwanted chemicals in your body. Without longer periods of rest, certain chemicals are activated that prevent your body from achieving extended periods where heart rate and blood pressure are able to be lowered.  An excessive amount of those chemicals and high blood pressure can play an important role in reducing the overall function of your heart.

Unstable mood changes

Lack of sleep can make you feel emotional, moody, and quick-tempered. When this situation is left untreated, it can lead to depression and other mental health issues. An unstable mood can have a snowball effect that compromises relationships with loved one and friends. This can lead to more stress which can be another negative impact on your sleep.

Weight gain

When you get less than six hours of sleep on a regular basis, you may be at an increased risk of becoming obese. Lack of sleep will change your body chemistry significantly, as previously mentioned. The hormones that control your appetite will become imbalanced and, as the result, make you feel hungry more often. Your body will be less sensitive to insulin, the most important hormone in absorbing the energy from the natural sugar that exists in almost all of our food. Many people who have trouble getting to sleep tend to eat more high-carbohydrate snacks or meals than other people with enough sleep every day.

If you have any of these signs of sleep deprivation, take quick action and seek professional advice to determine the best approach to address your sleep issues. This problem should be treated as soon as possible, as it has the potential to compromise your health if not address.

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Author: This article was written by Aaron Uscilla of SleepAcademy.org. SleepAcademy.org publishes consumer guides on sleep education, sleep disorders and mattresses.

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