As much as nature can be tamed, some naturally occurring conditions are impossible to tamper with. Growth, death, feeding, sleep are some of the most evident examples of these. Apart from being almost impossible to control, the amount of sleep you get says a lot about your life generally. So, what happens if you don’t sleep? After a hard day’ work, you feel like your brain is clogging, or feels heavier. These are signs that even your brain benefits from the amount of sleep you get.
Since I have established the importance of sleep in our daily lives, it is not likely that someone in a right frame of mind would want to be deprived of sleep for more than usual, even if monetary reward is involved. Therefore, if you are still curious, or you want to know how much lack of proper sleep can affect you; this article is aimed at providing a well-researched answer to that.
- 1 Common Factors That Cause Sleep Deprivations Among Individuals
- 2 Consequences Of Sleeplessness And Sleep Deprivation On Individuals
- 3 Remedies
- 4 Conclusion
Common Factors That Cause Sleep Deprivations Among Individuals
Prevalent sleeplessness and sleep deprivation among individuals are caused by host number of factors and have many consequences on the health of an individual. Aside sleepiness (especially during the day) that constitutes major impact on sleep deprivation, other things including sleeping disorders is also factor. The factors below are what cause sleep deprivation among most people:
· Sleep disorders
Sleeplessness among individuals is not only caused by sleep deprivation, sleep disorder is also a factor. Most people would find it difficult to fall or stay asleep with no obvious cause. This disruption in sleep is either due to teeth grinding or due to night terrors and can affect ones physical, emotional, normal, and physical functioning.
The use of technology prior to bed also constitutes to inadequacies in sleep hygiene. The use of phones, computers, and video games around bedtime are associated with most individuals waking up too early, repeated awakenings or less restful sleeps.
· Inadequate Sleep Hygiene
Sleeping in a quiet environment, regular sleep-wake schedules, and avoidance of stimulants before bedtime constitutes an adequate sleep hygiene. If not all these are put in place, you are liable to be deprived of sleeps.
· The use of caffeine , stimulant, alcohol and energy drinks
The use of stimulants (prescribed or non-prescribed) is one of the problems of our societies in recent days. In a bid to stay awake to accomplish some sort of things, most people would refer to using non-prescribed stimulants like caffeine, cocaine, alcohol, or energy rich drinks.
The effects of these are usually sleep deprivation. Alcohol for instance, shortens sleep latency and gives rise to divided sleep in the latter half of the night.
Consequences Of Sleeplessness And Sleep Deprivation On Individuals
Sleep deprivation has effects on many aspects of health, this article focuses on the negative effects it has on individuals. The summarized effects of what happens if you don’t sleep are:
· High Blood Pressure Value
It is an understandable fact that sleep keeps your nervous system healthy; it helps the body in stress hormones regulation too. However, a deficit of sleep could hurt the body’s ability to regulate the stress hormones, leading to high pressure of the blood.
The only traceable factor to this is the obstructive sleep apnea (a sleep disorder in which you repeatedly stop and start breathing during sleep). It can increase your risk of high blood pressure, stroke as well as heart problems, weight gain and other health issues.
If anybody has high blood pressure, the doctor would tell the person to sleep well. In essence, sleeping for seven to eight hours a night may play a role in the treatment and prevention of high blood pressure.
· Twitching of the eyes
No one cheats nature. By not sleeping on time, your eyes are subjected to stress, the effects of which bounce back on you (causes nystagmus). You will not be able to control your eyeball movements (it would start to move involuntarily) even with your head standing still.
If you have been asked, “how does sleep deprivation affect the brain?”, you should know that by not sleeping deeply, the stress hormone secreted within the body (cortisol) is released naturally.
This being the beginning of drowsiness, you would feel like sleeping throughout the next day, and that would definitely affect your entire work routine. Improper sleeping schedules can cause depression and mental disorders. Those who deprive themselves of sleeps often depend more on pills, something that can further spike their stress levels.
Sleep and depression are interrelated and interconnected (a cardinal feature of depression is fragmented sleep). Often times, depressive symptoms has being associated with irregular sleep schedules, an increase in sleep causes an improvement in the depressive symptoms. Depriving yourself, sleep, in a bid to work or do some things, has a greater effect on mood more than it does your motor and cognitive performance. When you are sleepy, you are susceptible to angry tangents too.
· Back Aches and Headaches
Sleeplessness affects the functioning of the brain most adversely; its functioning is considerably hampered with too. You will be left with no other things other than headaches and body troubles usually in the form of backaches. By sleeping late, your body system is bound to develop mild fever and persistent cough, which can take a toll on your overall health.
· Weight Gain
Sleep deprivation causes the messing up of the body with the hormones in charge of appetite regulation (ghrelin). This according to research leads to a situation known as leptin, when the ghrelin tells the brain you are full.
The effect of this is chronic overeating and the body would seem to have gained more weight than usual. By depriving yourself sleep, your body stands a chance to be fired of fat storing genes, and hold on to it for good.
· Aging Prematurely
If you are the type that enjoys sleep deprivation, your body releases the cortisol stress hormone. If the hormone were released in a large quantity, collagen (a protein that promotes smooth skin and elasticity in the body) would start breaking down.
Aside the breaking down of the collagen, one might also experience the decrease in the production of growth hormones (that fends off wrinkles and strengthens skins) in the body, making you vulnerable to acne. In addition, sleep deprivation can also trigger inflammation, leading to the growing up of inflammations.
· Sleep deprivation affects fertility
If the stress resulting from sleeplessness is made to interfere together with one’s body circadian rhythm, this can suppress females’ reproductive hormones, thinning the chances of sustaining pregnancy. The specialists proved this true.
· Reduced Effectiveness of Certain Vaccinations and Weakened Immune System
Vaccines generally helps in the creation of body antibodies needed in fighting a particular disease or infection. Nevertheless, sleep deprivations compromises the immune system and hinders the body from producing adequate antibodies. In essence, people who sleep lesser are like to have an unprotected body.
The following things are recommended as what to do when you cannot sleep:
Be involved in doing regular exercise and you will sleep better. Not only will you sleep comfortably, you will also have more energy when you are awake (and not just, because you slept better). In addition, you should stop working out right before bed; it only makes you stay more awake.
· Eating fruits rich in melatonin
Although melatonin is so important to sleep, the body needs outside sources to get it. While one can take, it naturally as supplement (usually in pill form), fruits like banana and cherry helps in its production.
· Make a Lavender Sleep Sachet
Aromatherapy has varieties of uses; one of the biggest usages is for the creation and relaxation of sense of drowsiness. Lavender scents helps in changing ones mood. By putting a small sleep sachet of lavender under pillow, it relaxes and drifts you off.
· Let your bedroom be your bedroom
Your bedroom is your place of rest, not your sitting room where you watch television nor is your second office. Simply, you are expected to restore your mind and body by sleeping, and not giving attention to TV. Also, do invest in a good pillow. Trust me, it will help you sleep better.
The best way of finding out how much sleep you need is to go to sleep when you feel tired and wake up without an alarm for a few days at time (like when you are on vacation). Depriving yourself sleep is not just ideal, it is killing. Adequate sleep hygiene helps in keeping you refreshed and provides for you; a life filled with good energy. You don’t have to find out what happens if you don’t sleep from experience. Stay Healthy!