Symptoms of Sleep Deprivation


If you’re sleep-deprived, it means you aren’t getting enough quality sleep. Most adults need at least seven to eight hours of sleep [1] every night to function optimally. In these present times, most people get only a fraction of this figure. This often has negative long and short-term consequences on a person’s health.

Getting enough sleep as important as getting enough food and water to keep the body functioning normally. Your brain needs quality sleep to function well, as do a lot of biological processes in your body. Not getting enough sleep increases your predisposition to obesity, hypertension, and diabetes [2]. Sleep deprivation is also known to shorten your life span. A 2010 review of research [3] on the topic found that getting too little sleep at night increases the risk of dying early.

Sleep deprivation is caused by a wide range of factors. It may due to stress, disrupted circadian rhythms that happen when we switch time zones, lifestyle choices, or busy schedules that involve working all through the night. Chronic underlying conditions, such as insomnia, can also make it very difficult to fall asleep.

Sleep deprivation may be classed as acute or chronic, depending on how long the situation lasts. Acute sleep deprivation may only last a few days. Chronic sleep deprivation refers to insufficient sleep that persists for up to three months or more.

It is ideal to get your sleep at the right time. Some people take long naps once in a while to make up for many hours of missed sleep. This does not always undo the long-term effects of sleep deprivation. You also should not try to use stimulants to bypass your body’s need for sleep. This is usually counterproductive and worsens the effects of sleep deprivation.

Usually, you’ll know you’re not getting enough sleep by calculating the number of hours you spend sleeping. But if you’re not sure, the following symptoms are strong indicators of sleep deprivation.