Human beings require up to 7-9 hours of sleep daily. It can, of course, vary according to the age and occupation of the person. But, sometimes, due to certain reasons, a person may not get sufficient amount of restorative sleep. He is then said to be deprived of sleep.
On the other hand, it is also be a form of psychological torture when a person is forcibly deprived of sleep. It can be chronic as well as acute. Frequent sleep deprivation can become chronic and have long-term health hazards.
Stress, anxiety, or excessive worry are the most common causes. Any psychological disorder or undiagnosed medical condition, nightmare, menopause, insecurity (usually in children and teens), mania, etc., are the other prominent causes.
Due to stress, very few people get adequate amount of sleep every day. Most of the time, people are not aware that they are deprived of sleep. They experience typical symptoms, but, fail to relate them to sleep deprivation.
At the same time, there are also behavioral symptoms like:
- Inability to concentrate
Symptoms in Children and Teens
Due to changing sleeping patterns or improper lifestyle, numerous teenagers face sleep deprivation. Although they may not be aware, it can cause serious long-term health hazards.
Parent should look out for the following symptoms.
- Poor scholastic performance
- Lack of interest in any activity
- Loss of appetite
- Unable to concentrate and memorize
As mentioned before, sleep deprivation has several negative effects on our body. It has adverse effect on the functioning of the brain and the digestive system. It can impair a person's problem solving, thinking, and understanding ability. A sleep deprived person is also at a high risk of suffering from depression, Alzheimer's disease or even schizophrenia.
Similarly, there are increased chances of suffering from digestive and gastrointestinal disorders, obesity, and hypertension. It can affect the overall personality and performance of a person, his work, relations, and sex life. Most of the time, chronically sleep deprived people start relying on drugs for energy and alertness.
In order to avoid all the aforementioned dangers, one should first identify the causes and symptoms, and try to treat them. One should try to reduce stress by using stress management and relaxation techniques. Change in lifestyle or environment also helps in treating insomnia.
On the other hand, psychological disorders or insomnia can be treated with the help of medications. If sleep deprivation persists for more than a few days, you should consult a doctor.
Disclaimer: This is meant only to provide information. It is not to be substituted for doctor's advice.