Sleep Deprivation – Effects and Treatment
Sleep Deprivation Effects
The harmful effects of sleep deprivation include heart disease, fatigue, depression, stress insomnia and sleep apnea, which can seriously damage the immune system, trigger heart disease and cause respiratory problems.
Seventy-five percent of shift workers facing sleep deprivation every night shift.
Even the most carefully designed nontraditional shift can't avoid the fact that people are going to have to be awake through the night when their bodies want to be asleep and that they have to sleep when their bodies want to be awake.
Research has shown that sleep deprivation has negative effects on three basic areas motor performance, cognitive function, and mood. Sleep deprivation has the strongest effect on mood and weakest on motor functions.
Total sleep deprivation of less than 45 hours left subjects better able to cope with simple and brief test of cognitive function. With partial sleep deprivation, subjects did best on complex, short, cognitive tests, which suggest that attention span is the parameter most degraded by partial sleep deprivation.
All subjects did better on shorter motor control tests versus longer ones. Regardless of the level of sleep deprivation, any loss of sleep can have varying effects on an individual's ability to deal with common day-to-day situations.
Risk of obesity due to Sleep deprivation:
Sleep deprivation is associated with an almost a two-fold increased risk of being obese for both children and adults.
Shorter sleep duration is linked with almost a two-fold increased risk of being obese.
People who sleep less have a greater increase in body mass index and waist circumference over time and a greater possibility of becoming obese over time.
Short sleep duration may lead to obesity through an increase of appetite via hormonal changes caused by the sleep deprivation. Lack of sleep stimulates appetite. Short sleep is linked to chronic conditions of affluent societies, such as obesity, diabetes and hypertension.
What are the consequences of sleep deprivation?
- Decreased efficiency
- Motor vehicle accidents and work accidents
- Lack of concentration
If this becomes a chronic problem, sleep deprivation can cause difficulties with social relationships because of irritability; as well as some significant medical problems.
Sleep Deprivation Treatment
Sleep is the only treatment for Sleep deprivation. Try to get to bed about the same time each night and wake at the same time. By establishing a routine sleep cycle, your body will know when to sleep and when to wake up, making you feel more rested when you wake.
Resist the urge for long naps -- 30 to 45 minutes is OK -- during the day, as they can throw off your sleep cycle. Keep a journal of your sleeping habits so that you can describe your sleeping habits to your doctor if need be.
Even if you feel exhausted after a busy day, stress can keep you lying in bed awake for hours. Try creating a routine that you follow each night before you go to bed. You could, for example, change into your pajamas, brush your teeth, wash your face, read, turn out your light and go to sleep.
If you find yourself feeling anxious about what you have to do the next day, make a to-do list or write in a journal. Putting your thoughts on paper can get them out of your head and help you feel more relaxed.
Be sure to avoid obvious stimulants such as caffeine and nicotine, but also avoid alcohol. Although alcohol makes you feel sleepy initially, it can disrupt two important stages of sleep: rapid eye movement and slow-wave sleep.
Both are imperative for properly restoring your mind and body while you sleep. Again, if you follow a routine each night, your body will comply. Finally, make your bedroom conducive to sleep.
Make sure your bed is comfortable. Try to limit distractions such as television, loud music, intense studying, people, or anything else that would keep you stimulated.