Sleep deprivation happens when we do not get the normal 7 to 8 hours of sleep. Sleep Deprivation, which can be acute or chronic, can cause damage to our body systems. Over time, it can lead to chronic health problems and negatively impact the quality of life. It can also affect how we think, react, work, learn and get along with others.
Chronic or persistent sleep deficiency is also linked to an increased risk of Heart disease, Kidney disease, High Blood Pressure, Diabetes, Obesity and Stroke.
Sleep plays a vital role in maintaining good health and well being throughout our life. Enough quality sleep (7 to 8 hours) at the right time protects our mental and physical health and quality of life. For example, sleep involves in healing and repair of our body cells including heart and blood vessels.
General Guidelines for Proper Sleep
The amount of sleep you need depends on various factors especially age. Following are the general guidelines for different age groups:
|Age Group||Recommended Sleep|
|Infants||9-10 hours at night, plus 3 or more hours of naps|
|Toddlers||9-10 hours at night, plus 2-3 hours of naps|
|School-age children||9-11 hours|
In addition to age, other factors can also affect, for example:
Changes in a woman’s body during early pregnancy can increase the need for sleep.
Senior adults need about the same measure of rest as more youthful grown-ups. As you get older, your sleeping patterns might change. More established grown-ups tend to rest more delicately and for shorter time ranges than do more youthful grown-ups. This might create a need for spending more time in bed to get enough sleep, or a tendency toward daytime napping.
CAUSES OF SLEEP DEPRIVATION
- Stress/ Anxiety
- Emotional events
- Poor diet
- Caffeine (Tea/Coffee)
- Excessive use of cell phone and watching television can alter your body’s production of melatonin. Melatonin is the hormone that helps you fall asleep at night.
- Too hot or too cold environment
- Too soft or hard mattress and pillow that does not support your body
- Noise or Light in the sleeping environment
- Chronic Joint Pain (Osteoarthritis, Rheumatoid arthritis)
- Gastric Reflux (over eating, use of carbonated beverages)
CONSEQUENCES OF SLEEP DEPRIVATION
- Decreased Performance and Alertness:
Sleep deprivation induces significant reduction in performance and alertness.
- Memory and Psychological Impairment:
Diminished sharpness and exorbitant daytime sluggishness disable your memory and your intellectual capacity, your capacity to think and process info.
- Occupational Harm:
Very high drowsiness likewise adds to greater than twofold higher risk of sustaining an occupational injury.
- Bad living standards:
You may be not able take part in specific exercises that require maintained consideration.
- Automobile Injury:
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) in U.S.A. estimate that every year sleepy driving is in charge of no less than 100,000 car accidents.
- Confusion, memory impairment
- Hand tremor
- Peri-orbital puffiness, commonly known as “bags under eyes”
- Increased secretion of stress hormones i.e. Catecholamine
- High blood pressure
TIPS TO IMPROVE SLEEPING HABITS
There are number of things you can do to combat or prevent sleep disturbance. Depending on the cause, you might consider one or more of the following:
- Acknowledge your need for sleep. Make sure you give enough time to sleep.
- Establish a regular sleep schedule.
- Establish a regular nighttime routine.
- Avoid caffeine because caffeine is a stimulant that can stay in the body system for 8 hours or more.
- Engage in regular physical activity. Lack of exercise may not allow you to relax at night.
- Avoid worrying on problems too close to bedtime. Your mind also needs time to settle down before sleep.
- Make your sleep environment as comfortable as you can. Reduce light and adjust temperature if necessary. Ensure a quiet environment.
- Learn relaxation or meditation techniques which can reduce stress and lower your frustration.
- Avoid Nicotine intake close to bedtime.