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Sleep Deprivation Facts That Need Your Immediate Attention

If you are having troubles falling asleep, you may be suffering from sleep deprivation. Sleep deprivation is a concept that deals with the quality and quantity of sleep derived in a single session of sleep. Going through these facts may help you to know more about this seemingly harmless condition.
SleepHearty Staff
Last Updated: Mar 19, 2018
There are millions who suffer from sleep deprivation. Due to this, there are a number of complications that arise for the physiological and psychological well-being. The first step in understanding the type of sleep deprivation you are suffering from, is to learn about the two segments of sleep deprivation: (1) Acute; and (2) Chronic. Both conditions occur, when the quantity and quality of sleep get affected. When sleep acquired is not adequate and does not support alertness, hampers performance and deteriorates health and overall well-being of the individual, this scenario is termed sleep deprivation. Acute sleep deprivation is a sleeping pattern in which the individual does not derive the required amount of sleep for up to two days. On the other hand, chronic sleep deprivation is a condition where the individual does not recoup right due to the inappropriate duration devoted to sleep. When sleeping less than required becomes a routine, problems with regard to alertness and lack of concentration become frequent.
Before you move on to reading the fundamentals about sleep deprivation, I would sincerely suggest you visit the fact file prepared to help you understand the potency of sleep and how it may affect you, if you don't get enough of it ... . Some facts you must wake up to.
Major Causes
Stress
One of the main causes of sleep deprivation is stress. Stress and sleep are interlinked. If you are stressed, you can't sleep, and lack of sleep stresses you even more. Your body and brain need a break and need to recuperate from the daily stress that is posed during the day.
Diet
A diet rich in fruits and vegetables, lean proteins, and whole grains, while avoiding fried foods and sugars, is optimum. If you deprive yourself of food and do not eat properly, it can affect your sleep pattern by creating problems, such as obesity, that raises the odds of developing heartburn and related digestive problems thus preventing sound sleep. Control your caffeine content as well, during the day.
Alcohol and Drugs
It may seem that alcohol and drugs induce sleep; however, this may happen a few times, but not always. Thus, this so-called "fact" is partly true. Alcohol leads to sleep disturbances. The use of alcohol, as a relaxant, is likely to work sometimes. This is the reason why alcohol should not be relied on as a sleeping aid. Smoking can also be one of the causes that leads to drowsiness during the day.
Travel
Traveling long distances and giving your journey wings for long may cause jet lag. This, in turn, may cause the circadian rhythm or the body clock to disrupt completely, and getting back on track requires a considerable amount of hard work from your side.
Uncomfortable Sleeping Environment
A comfortable sleeping environment consists a good mattress and a pillow that induces sleep and helps you rest with ease. You must make sure you do not wake up with a sore muscle, or a backache, because your mattress is not comfortable enough to cater comfort.
Dominant Symptoms
Drowsiness
If you haven't been able to sleep well at night, you will feel extremely tired the next day. Extreme lousiness during the day could be a sign of insomnia.
Irritability
Anger and irritability are common sleep-deprivation symptoms. Things that never put you off before have started to bother you greatly. You snap unreasonably at people, and this affects your interpersonal relationships, as well.
Tired after Sleep
If you are sleep deprived, you will not feel rejuvenated. You may feel drained out and that you need a few good nights' sleep.
Stress, Anxiety, and Depression
Without enough sleep, you are bound to feel frustrated, stressed, and anxious. This can be a result of being taken ill, or since you are very tired during the day, feel too sleepy to fulfill your work, or family responsibilities.
Memory and Concentration Problems
Sleep helps maintain alertness. Lack of sleep can impair your cognitive ability and also pose serious problems, where concentration is concerned. You may also develop troubles with regard to maintaining concentration levels.
Appetite Fluctuations
One often overlooked symptom of sleep deprivation is an appetite change. You may not feel hungry at all, or you may feel very hungry at times when, in the actual, you shouldn't. The appetite changes may eventually impact your weight.
Remedies and Treatment
Decide on a regular sleep pattern. Do not deviate from it, once you have set your goal. The retire and rise cycle ought to be fixed, and more or less, maintained.

Make sure that you plan your dinner timing, as well. Eating right before you retire to bed may introduce digestion problems, and make you susceptible to gastroenteritis or even hyperacidity.

Have a healthy diet. Make fruits and greens a part of your plate. Do not forget to include fiber in your diet plan.

Avoid stress. Take a deep breath whenever you come across any stressful situation, think, and then take the necessary measures to combat the same.

Exercise well. You need to indulge in yoga and meditation sessions so that your nerves are relaxed. Hitting the gym regularly may also help getting your sleep pattern on track.
Facts to Wake Up To
Sleep, more often than not, is taken for granted. An eight-hour sleep is but a mere proverbial, a relic fact that seems hollow with each wink. Walking a tightrope to perform the balancing act between work and rest sure drains you ad nauseam. However, you ought to know when you must call it quits for the day. A common equation: Sleep is to the body, what fuel is to the car. If you deprive your body of sleep, you are bound to crab through the day, blow off for no apparent reason, feel weighed down and probably have red-rimmed eyes that, in some corner, do resemble a pair of disparaged trumpets. Not good, or is it? Well, some shocking facts to help you wake up to the fact that sleep, indeed, comes first, the rest follows.

① If you take sleep a tad too lightly, consider this: The National Sleep Foundation conducted a poll wherein 168 million people confess to "have driven a vehicle while feeling drowsy." A majority of adults, while at the wheel, have been found guilty to have given way to a wink. Then there were the brave-hearts, who have admitted to the fact that they were about to slide under the wheel, because they felt "too tired to drive."

② Another finding that needs attention: Sleep deprivation can increase the likelihood of an accident or crash while at the wheel, says the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. To make it clear, people who sleep for 7 hour or less are twice as susceptible to accidents when compared to those who adhere to the 8-hour rule.

③ Besides, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that more than a hundred thousand road crashes have occurred courtesy of "driver fatigue," leading to "an estimated 1,550 deaths, 71,000 injuries ... ."

④ Did you know that a 10- to 15-minute loll in bed is considered ideal before you go into deep sleep? Well, if it takes less than five minutes for you to hit heaven, chances are, you are sleep deprived. Taking around 10 minutes to doze off is ideal, as this means that you are plausibly tired, but not exhausted to a point of burnout.

⑤ A corollary of sorts: After days and months of sleep deprivation, feeling worn out may become a way of life. Research serves testimony that subjects under study -- who were purposefully kept from completing their eight-hour sleep cycle -- behaved grumpy, indolent with sunken energy levels, also witnessing a sharp decline in performance and concentration levels. However, things, ironically, improved! The subjects just got into the flow and felt that their restrictive sleep pattern had no exaggerated effects on them.

⑥ The circadian rhythm, loosely regarded as body clock that wakes you up when you want to, is courtesy of the stress hormone termed adrenocorticotropin. This hormone, when released, is a stress stimuli that triggers the response of waking up on time.

⑦ Call it outright anecdotal if you please; however, this issue is very serious. People -- when they are essentially sleep deprived -- show a few telltale signs. There must have been a time, when you were narrating a story to your colleague, who appeared as though he were listening to you intently. Unfortunately, this is exactly what he did NOT do. Well, he might have 'heard' you, but not 'heeded' you; get the drift. Chances are, he was just catnapping, while pretending to be deucedly attentive!

⑧ According to the Australian National Sleep Research Project, Tony Wright, on May 25, 2007, set a world record for going without sleep for 18 days, 21 hour and 40 minutes.

⑨ Humans are truly blessed. We may stretch our waking hours to either get done with a project report, or brush up on communication skills for the presentation on board next morning. Well, man can play around with his sleep cycle, animals don't really have the choice. Our developed cognitive ability has us delaying sleep to get other important jobs done. We tend to neglect sleep, by way of intellectualizing every event. We have the time to complete pending jobs, but pending sleep, well, now that, unfortunately, is a far cry.

⑩ Experts conclude that sleep deprivation has another culprit up its sleeve and, i.e., the Internet. With social networking sites becoming rampant by the day, they sure are a wee too hard to resist.
I hope you open your eyes to these facts, but don't lose sleep over them. Instead, make a difference to your sleep patterns. Besides this, crack a joke, share a laugh, bake a cake, and speak your mind ... do all that you want to do, and stay happy. If nothing works, eat chocolates! They may not have the soporific quality; however, they, sure, are the best stress busters. Make them your companion ... for good! ...