Many people do not get enough sleep, and this can affect their health, well-being, and ability to do their daily activities. The appropriate amount of sleep can vary from person to person, but the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that adults get at least 7 hours each night. They also estimate that one in three adults does not get enough sleep.
Occasional sleep disturbances can be a problem, while continuous quality sleep can affect a person’s performance at work or school, his or her daily working capacity, the quality of his or her health, and his or her health.
This article looks at the effects of sleep deprivation and how you can treat and prevent it.
While you sleep, your immune system produces antibodies such as antibodies and cytokines. It uses these substances to fight off foreign invaders such as viruses and bacteria.
Certain cytokines also help you sleep, giving your immune system a function to protect your body from getting sick.
Sleep deprivation prevents your immune system from building its own capacity. If you do not get enough sleep, your body may not be able to defend itself against invaders, and it may take longer for you to recover from the illness.
Prolonged sleep deprivation also increases your risk of chronic conditions, such as diabetes and heart disease.
Sleep can affect the hormones that control feelings of hunger and satiety. It can also cause insulin secretion. Sleep changes can cause increased fat retention, changes in body weight, and a higher risk of type 2 diabetes.
Insufficient sleep can affect the production of hormones, including the production of growth hormones and testosterone. It also causes the body to release extra stress hormones, such as norepinephrine and cortisol.
Insomnia affects the prefrontal cortex, which controls thinking, as well as the amygdala, which is responsible for emotions. Lack of sleep can also make it difficult for a person to form new memories, which can affect learning.
The relationship between sleep and the respiratory system goes in both directions. A night breathing problem called obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) can affect your sleep and low sleep quality.
As you wake up all night, this can cause a decrease in sleep, which leaves you at risk of respiratory infections such as colds and flu. Insomnia can also worsen existing respiratory illnesses, such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.
Along with eating too much and not exercising, sleep deprivation is another risk factor for obesity and overweight. Sleep affects the levels of two hormones, leptin, and ghrelin, which regulate feelings of hunger and satiety.
Leptin tells your brain that you have enough to eat. Without adequate sleep, your brain lowers leptin and raises ghrelin, a dietary supplement. Hormone depletion can explain the availability of dinner or why a person may overeat at night.
Lack of sleep can also make you feel too tired to exercise. Over time, slowing down your metabolism can lead to obesity because you do not burn enough calories and do not build muscle mass.
Sleep deprivation also causes your body to release less insulin after a meal. Insulin helps to lower blood sugar (glucose).
Insomnia also lowers glucose tolerance and is associated with insulin resistance. These disorders can lead to diabetes and obesity.
Sleep affects the processes that keep your heart and blood vessels healthy, including those that affect your blood sugar, blood pressure, and levels of inflammation. It also plays an important role in your body’s ability to heal and repair blood vessels and the heart.
People who do not get enough sleep are more likely to get heart disease. One analysis linked insomnia to an increased risk of heart attack and stroke.
Hormone production depends on your sleep. For testosterone production, you need at least 3 hours of uninterrupted sleep, which is almost the time of your first REM. episode. Waking up all night can affect the production of hormones.
These disorders can also affect the production of growth hormones, especially in children and adolescents. These hormones help the body build weight and repair cells and tissues, in addition to other growth functions.
The pituitary gland releases growth hormone every day, but adequate sleep and exercise also help release this hormone.
There are many reasons why a person does not get enough sleep. Examples include:
- noisy sleeping area or not the right temperature
- use technology near bedtime or store them in the bedroom
- medical problems, such as depression, sleep apnea, or chronic pain
- caring for someone else at night
Common health problems that interfere with sleep include:
- chronic fatigue syndrome
- chronic pain
- drug abuse
- bipolar disorder
- bruxism, or grinding of teeth
There are many ways to support quality sleep, including counseling, lifestyle and environmental adjustments, medications, and other therapies.
Sometimes, a person also needs treatment for a lower condition.
Behavioral and self-care therapy
Other methods that do not involve drugs include:
Relaxation techniques: Meditation, mental training, breathing exercises, and guided imagery can help reduce tension. Sound recording and sleep apps can also help.
Behavioral therapy: Known as CBT, this can help a person to identify ways of thinking that contribute to limited sleep.
Home care tips
Changing sleeping habits and sleeping patterns can help. Someone can:
- Try to go to bed at the same time every day, even on the weekends, with the goal of establishing a routine.
- Avoid eating 2-3 hours before bedtime.
- After trying to sleep for 20 minutes, get up and read, and try again later.
- Exercise daily.
- Keep the bedroom quiet, dark, and cool.
- Turn off electrical appliances and keep them away from the bedroom.
- Limit caffeine and alcohol consumption, especially at bedtime.
- Avoid using tobacco.
- Use oral protection to treat bruxism.
If these measures do not help, one should see a health care provider, especially if very little sleep affects the quality of life.
Some people find that devices are helpful, including mouth guards, white noise equipment, snore anti-slip devices, sleeping trackers, line pillows, and other products. This is available for purchase online.
However, there is no guarantee that any of these will work.
What does sleep deprived mean?
Sleep deprivation means you're not getting enough sleep. For most adults, the amount of sleep needed for best health is 7 to 8 hours each night. When you get less sleep than that, as many people do, it can eventually lead to many health problems.
How many hours of sleep do you need to be considered sleep deprived?
If you're getting less than eight hours of sleep each night, chances are you're sleep deprived.
Can you be hospitalized for sleep deprivation?
Generally, a person will not be hospitalized for most types of insomnia. However, when a lack of sleep results in an accident or other bodily harm, the patient might be admitted to the hospital for treatment of a condition resulting from the insomnia.