Top-Rated Free Essay

The Effect of Sleep Deprivation

Powerful Essays
The effects of Sleep Deprivation
What is Sleep Deprivation?
Physiological Effects 2.1 Diabetes 2.2 Effects on the Brain 2.3 Effects on the healing process 2.4 Attention and working memory 2.5 Impairment of ability. 2.6 Microsleeps 2.7 Weight gain/loss
Sleep apnea
Mental illness
School
Counteracting the effects of sleep deprivation
Longest period without sleep
Main Body
Discussion
How does sleep deprivation affect Your Mental and Physical Health?
How to Recover from missed sleep?

Conclusion

What is sleep deprivation?
Sleep deprivation is a catch-all term for when the body doesn’t get sufficient sleep. It may be brought about by a number of causes, from physical illness, to psychiatric imbalance, to torture, and can have a wide range of consequences. At its most benign, this condition is something most of us deal with on a fairly regular basis, while at its most drastic it can be a life-threatening situation.
A loss of sleep is common simply as a result of circumstance among people who live busy and stressful lives. Students, particularly, often find themselves experiencing it on some level as they struggle to keep up with heavy workloads and busy social lives. Young children are also likely to get too little sleep, as they generally require more sleep than adults, and often do not get it.
Many people are unable to sleep because of anxiety or stress, as well, and any sleep they do get is fitful and frequently interrupted, leading to deprivation. Others may have physical pains or issues such as severe coughing that can cause them to be unable to fall asleep. In some cases, people may actively pursue insomnia for some of its psychological side effects, which can include hallucinations and surges of mania.
Not sleeping enough can have many negative side effects, both physical and mental. Most immediately apparent is a slowing of mental awareness and responsiveness, a general dulling of thought processes. Physical responses are also dulled and slowed, and reflexes may be delayed or dampened. Memory loss and short lapses in memory can occur during sleep deprivation, as can spells of delirium and dizziness. Headaches, fainting spells, and nausea are physical effects that can be triggered by this condition, while a general moodiness and sometimes even psychotic behavior are psychological effects that can occur.
People who are experiencing sleep deprivation may also find it very difficult to stay awake, finding themselves constantly drowsy and nodding off. It can be difficult to keep one’s eyes open while tired, which, coupled with slowed reflexes, makes driving or other high-attention tasks quite dangerous. The body also functions more poorly on an autonomic level without enough sleep, and wounds can take longer to heal, and the body is more prone to sickness due to a weakened immune system.

Physiological effects
Sleep deprivation is common for people in many societies, seemingly with no long-term damages, but is this true? Does sleep deprivation have lasting physical effects?
Most of the physical side effects from sleep deprivation are relatively minor and, thankfully, easily reversible. And the cure? Get some sleep. If you do not sleep enough, you may be faced with myriad consequences:
Neurologic Effects
Sleep deprivation mimics the effects of drinking alcohol -- you may experience slurred speech and uncontrolled reflexive movements of the eye called nystagmus.
You may also develop a slight shakiness or tremor in your hands. Some people even have a more pronounced droopiness in their eyelids, called ptosis.
Various other neurological reflexes can change in sleep deprivation. These are unlikely to causes symptoms you would notice. However, if your doctor were to test them, you may have sluggish corneal reflexes, a hyperactive gag reflex, and hyperactive deep tendon reflexes.
In addition, you may have a reduced threshold for seizures. As a result, people with epilepsy are at greater risk for seizures when they're sleep deprived.
One thing that you may notice right away is an increased sensitivity to pain. Studies have shown our sensitivity to heat and pressure pain is especially enhanced when we don’t sleep enough. Also, there is reported to be an increased sensitivity to pain in our esophagus, as might occur in the setting of nighttime heartburn or gastro esophageal reflux disease (GERD).
Vital Sign Changes
Research studies have demonstrated that sleep deprivation may cause subtle changes in your vital signs. Vital signs are important physiological markers that are often tracked as part of a general health assessment. These include: * Body temperature * Blood pressure * Heart rate * Breathing rate
Hormonal Changes
Sleep deprivation can have significant and important effects on the secretion of hormones from endocrine glands, especially those that follow a circadian pattern. A classic example includes the effect of sleep loss or disruption in children and the impact on growth. Growth hormone is secreted during slow-wave sleep, which is more common in the early part of the night in children. When this sleep is disrupted, either through inadequate sleep or from disorders such as sleep apnea, the amount of growth hormone released is compromised. As a result, children may not reach their full growth potential, becoming shorter than they otherwise would have been.
Sleep deprivation also seems to affect the activity of the thyroid gland. It is thought that the increased energy needs while staying awake for too long demand more work from the thyroid.
Fortunately, studies also suggest that many other hormones (including sex hormones) do not seem to be affected by sleep deprivation, including: * Cortisol * Adrenaline * Catecholamine * Luteinizing Hormone * Follicle-Stimulating Hormone * Testosterone * Progesterone

Diabetes and Sleep: What's the Connection?
In the past decade, there has been growing evidence that too little sleep can affect hormones and metabolism in ways that promote diabetes, Knutson tells WebMD.
She cites a 1999 Lancet study by colleagues at the University of Chicago. The researchers monitored the blood sugar levels of 11 healthy young men who were allowed only four hours of sleep per night -- from 1 a.m. to 5 a.m. -- for six nights.
"That study showed that after only a week of short bedtimes, their glucose tolerance was impaired. There could be dramatic effects even after only a week," according to Knutson
After 6 nights of little sleep, the men had higher-than-normal blood sugar levels. (The levels were not high enough to be diagnosed as diabetes, however). The effects went away once the men were back on their normal sleep schedule.
Experts also believe that chronic sleep deprivation may lead to elevated levels of the stress hormone, cortisol. Elevated cortisol may in turn promote insulin resistance, in which the body can't use the hormone insulin properly to help move glucose into cells for energy.
"That is on the pathway to developing diabetes," Knutson tells WebMD.
Further, research shows that sleep loss reduces levels of the hormone leptin, an appetite suppressant, while boosting levels of ghrelin, an appetite stimulant. That's a poor combination that may prompt sleep-deprived people to eat more.
And most sleep deprived people don't snack on fruits and vegetables, Knutson points out. Instead, they tend to crave high-carbohydrate foods, such as salty, fatty potato chips. This is not just bad for your waistline, but also your diabetes outlook.
"If you add overweight to the mix, you could possibly increase your risk of developing diabetes," Knutson says.

Effects on the Brain
The Effects of Sleep Deprivation on Brain and Behavior
Sleep deprivation is a commonplace occurrence in modern culture. Every day there seems to be twice as much work and half as much time to complete it in. This results in either extended periods of wakefulness or a decrease in sleep over an extended period of time. While some people may like to believe that they can train their bodies to not require as much sleep as they once did this belief is false. Sleep is needed to regenerate certain parts of the body, especially the brain, so that it may continue to function optimally. After periods of extended wakefulness or reduced sleep neurons may begin to malfunction, visibly effecting a person's behavior. Some organs, such as muscles, are able to regenerate even when a person is not sleeping so long as they are resting. This could involve lying awake but relaxed within a quite environment. Even though cognitive functions might not seem necessary in this scenario the brain, especially the cerebral cortex, is not able to rest but rather remains semi-alert in a state of "quiet readiness". Certain stages of sleep are needed for the regeneration of neurons within the cerebral cortex while other stages of sleep seem to be used for forming new memories and generating new synaptic connections. The effects of sleep deprivation on behavior have been tested with relation to the presence of activity in different sections of the cerebral cortex.
The temporal lobe of the cerebral cortex is associated with the processing of language. During verbal learning tests on subjects who are fully rested functional magnetic resonance imaging scans show that this area of the brain is very active. However, in sleep deprived subjects there is no activity within this region. The effects of this inactivity can be observed by the slurred speech in subjects who have gone for prolonged periods with no sleep.
Even severely sleep deprived people are still able to perform to some degree on a verbal learning test. This implies that some other area of the brain must become active to compensate for the loss of temporal lobe functioning. In fact, activity can be seen in the parietal lobe that is not present during verbal learning tests using rested subjects. Greater activity within this region corresponded to better performance by subjects in research studies. Still, sleep deprived people do not perform as well on these tests as do fully rested subjects. One possible reason for the poorer performance after missing sleep, aside from unregenerate neurons, could be the fact that since the parietal lobe is not usually used to performing tasks such as these it is not as adept at carrying them out. Therefore, when control switches from the temporal lobe to the parietal lobe some speed and accuracy is naturally lost. Interestingly, sleep deprived subjects have been shown to have better short-term memory abilities than their well-rested counterparts. Since memory is associated with this region of the cerebral cortex the fact that it is already active in sleep deprived people could make it easier for new synapses to be created, thus forming new short-term memories more easily.
While activity is seen within the parietal lobes of rested people as they think through math problems no corresponding activity is visible within the brains of sleep-deprived subjects. Also, no new area of the brain becomes active while the sleep deprived people work on math problems. Since sleep deprived people can still complete math problems, albeit with less speed and accuracy than a well-rested individual, this data implies that a region of the brain already in use is used for this task.
The frontal lobe is the most fascinating section of the brain with relation to sleep deprivation. Its functions are associated with speech as well as novel and creative thinking. Sleep deprived test subjects have difficulties thinking of imaginative words or ideas. Instead, they tend to choose repetitious words or clichéd phrases. Also, a sleep-deprived individual is less able to deliver a statement well. The subject may show signs of slurred speech, stuttering, speaking in a monotone voice, or speaking at a slower pace than usual. Subjects in research studies also have a more difficult time reacting well to unpredicted rapid changes. Sleep deprived people do not have the speed or creative abilities to cope with making quick but logical decisions, nor do they have the ability to implement them well. Studies have demonstrated that a lack of sleep impairs one's ability to simultaneously focus on several different related tasks, reducing the speed as well as the efficiency of one's actions. A person may be able to react to a complex scenario when suddenly presented with it but, similar to the verbal tests, the subject will most likely pick an unoriginal solution. If presented with a similar situation multiple times with slight variations in the information presented the subject chooses the same solution, even though it might not be as applicable to the new scenario.
Part of the frontal lobe, the prefrontal cortex, has several functions specifically coupled with it. Judgment, impulse control, attention, and visual association have all been related to this region of the cerebral cortex. A recent study has shown that the prefrontal cortex, usually the most active area of the brain in rested individuals, becomes more active as a person remains awake for long periods of time. This region regenerates during the first stage of sleep, giving a person the ability to feel somewhat refreshed after only a short nap. The length of the first stage of sleep cycle is somewhat dependent upon how long the person had previously been awake. The longer the period of wakefulness, the longer the brain remains in the first stage of sleep. When the brain enters into the REM stage of sleep the prefrontal cortex is active once more.
The implications of this data seem to be fairly important in supporting the location of the I-function within the brain. The prefrontal cortex is active whenever a person is awake, no matter how little sleep they have had. Also, this area is active while dreaming. Since the individual is aware of him or herself during both of these instances, but is not aware during the stages of sleep when the prefrontal cortex is shut down, it seems logical that the I-function is located within this region. This indicates that the I-function is what is resting and regenerating during the first stage of sleep. It would be interesting to study prefrontal cortex activity while a person is conscious, but unaware of his or her actions, due to an influence such as drugs or alcohol. According to the results of the sleep deprivation studies little or no activity should be seen in the prefrontal cortex at any time when the individual is unaware of his or herself.
One of the symptoms of prolonged sleep deprivation is hallucinations. This could also be related to the I-function since it is the system that integrates the input from all other areas of the brain. If the neurons composing the I-function become too taxed then the picture in the head that the I-function produces may be more dissimilar from reality than usual. The neurons, under pressure to continue functioning but unable to perform optimally; create an image useful enough for a person to see most of his or her surroundings.
Effects on the healing process * * tweet1 * Print
Flag
Without proper sleep, the body can not recovery and rejuvenate for the next day. Sleep deprivation is a stress induced complication but can also lead to additional stress upon the body. For individuals who suffer from injury, sleep deprivation can have an adverse affect on the healing and recovery process.
Wound healing is a complex physiological process that engages protein changes, cell division and replication, and promotes the release of growth hormones. With sleep, these processes are vastly improved. When sleep deprived, the body is unable to engage in the wound healing processes as it is actively working to maintain normal bodily functions. With sleep deprivation, the most significant complication involves the loss of growth hormone secretion which not only impairs wound healing, it impairs total body function.
If you suffer from an injury that involves a wound, either internal or external, it is important to understand the impact your sleep may have on your recovery. In many cases, pain and other wound healing complications impede the ability of the sufferer from gaining quality sleep. As a result, pain medications prescribed often include both a pain alleviating component but also a sleeping aide. As you work through your recovery, it is important to ask your physician to guide you through the processes that involve sleep and to reduce the risk for sleep deprivation.
In addition to the actual wound healing process, quality sleep also serves to promote improvement in the immune system. With improved immune system, you can reduce your risk for additional injury, infection and improve your mental state of mind. These dynamics are also important to the wound and injury healing process.
The timing of your sleep deprivation may also play an impact on the wound healing process. As a general train of thought, the first five days following your injury may result in some degree of sleep deprivation but this sleep deprivation does not adversely affect your wound healing process. It is the sleep deprivation that occurs in the period beginning after day six that may have the greater long term impact on your wound healing. Therefore, management of your wound healing and sleep deprivation should be highly focused well past day five.
As sleep disorders continue to be a leading focus of many healthcare initiatives, much focus is turned to the reduction of sleep deprivation in individuals who suffer from wound healing complications. When treating for an injury, ask your healthcare professional about the medications and methods you can utilize to aide in a restful and quality sleep for the weeks after your injury occurs.

The effect of sleep on memory and learning
Some memory tasks are more affected be sleep deprivation than others. A recent study, for example, found that recognition memory for faces was unaffected by people being deprived of sleep for 35 hours. However, while the sleep-deprived people remembered that the faces were familiar, they did have much more difficulty remembering in which of two sets of photos the faces had appeared. In other words, their memory for the context of the faces was significantly worse. (The selective effect of sleep on contextual memory is also supported in a recent mouse study – see below)
While large doses of caffeine reduced the feelings of sleepiness and improved the ability of the sleep-deprived subjects to remember which set the face had appeared in, the level of recall was still significantly below the level of the non-sleep-deprived subjects. (For you coffee addicts, no, the caffeine didn’t help the people who were not sleep-deprived).
Interestingly, sleep deprivation increased the subjects’ belief that they were right, especially when they were wrong. In this case, whether or not they had had caffeine made no difference.
In another series of experiments, the brains of sleep-deprived and rested participants were scanned while the participants performed complex cognitive tasks. In the first experiment, the task was an arithmetic task involving working memory. Sleep-deprived participants performed worse on this task, and the fMRI scan confirmed less activity in the prefrontal cortex for these participants. In the second experiment, the task involved verbal learning. Again, those sleep-deprived performed worse, but in this case, only a little, and the prefrontal areas of the brain remained active, while parietal lobe activity actually increased. However, activity in the left temporal lobe (a language-processing area) decreased. In the third study, participants were given a "divided-attention" task, in which they completed both an arithmetic and a verbal-learning task. Again, sleep-deprived participants showed poorer performance, depressed brain activation in the left temporal region and heightened activation in prefrontal and parietal regions. There was also increased activation in areas of the brain that are involved in sustained attention and error monitoring.
These results indicate that sleep deprivation affects different cognitive tasks in different ways, and also that parts of the brain are able to at least partially compensate for the effects of sleep deprivation.
Impairment of ability
The dangers of sleep deprivation are apparent on the road; the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM) reports that one in every five serious motor vehicle injuries is related to driver fatigue, with 80,000 drivers falling asleep behind the wheel every day and 250,000 accidents every year related to sleep,[30] though the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration suggests the figure for traffic accidents may be closer to 100,000.[31] The AASM recommends pulling off the road and taking a 15- or 20-minute nap to alleviate drowsiness.[30]
According to a 2000 study published in the British Medical Journal, researchers in Australia and New Zealand reported that sleep deprivation can have some of the same hazardous effects as being drunk. People who drove after being awake for 17–19 hours performed worse than those with a blood alcohol level of .05 percent, which is the legal limit for drunk driving in most western European countries and Australia. Another study suggested that performance begins to degrade after 16 hours awake, and 21 hours awake was equivalent to a blood alcohol content of .08 percent, which is the blood alcohol limit for drunk driving in Canada, the U.S., and the U.K.
In addition, as a result of continuous muscular activity without proper rest time, effects such as cramping are much more frequent in sleep-deprived individuals. Extreme cases of sleep deprivation have been reported to be associated with hernias, muscle fascia tears, and other such problems commonly associated with physical overexertion.
A 2006 study has shown that while total sleep deprivation for one night caused many errors, the errors were not significant until after the second night of total sleep deprivation. However, combining alcohol with acute sleep deprivation results in a trebled rate of driving off the road when using a simulator.
The National Sleep Foundation identifies several warning signs that a driver is dangerously fatigued, including rolling down the window, turning up the radio, trouble keeping eyes open, head-nodding, drifting out of the lane, and daydreaming. At particular risk are lone drivers between midnight and 6 a.m.
Sleep deprivation can negatively impact performance in professional fields as well, potentially jeopardizing lives. Due largely to the February 2009 crash of a regional jet in Buffalo, NY, which killed 50 people and was partially attributed to pilot fatigue, which caused the FAA to review its procedures to ensure pilots are sufficiently rested. A 2004 study also found medical residents with less than four hours of sleep a night made more than twice as many errors as residents who slept for more than seven hours a night, an especially alarming trend given that less than 11% of surveyed residents were sleeping more than seven hours a night.
Twenty-four hours of continuous sleep deprivation results in the choice of less difficult math tasks without decreases in subjective reports of effort applied to the task. Naturally caused sleep loss affects the choice of everyday tasks such that low effort tasks are mostly commonly selected. Adolescents who experience less sleep show a decreased willingness to engage in sports activities that require effort through fine motor coordination and attention to details.
Great sleep deprivation mimics psychosis: distorted perceptions can lead to inappropriate emotional and behavioral responses.
Astronauts have reported performance errors and decreased cognitive ability during periods of extended working hours and wakefulness as well as due to sleep loss caused by circadian rhythm disruption and environmental factors.

Microsleep
Microsleeps are brief, unintended episodes of loss of attention associated with events such as blank stare, head snapping, and prolonged eye closure which may occur when a person is fatigued but trying to stay awake to perform a monotonous task like driving a car or watching a computer screen. These are potentially among the most dangerous consequences of insomnia.
Microsleep episodes last from a few seconds to two minutes, and often the person is not aware that a microsleep has occurred. In fact, microsleeps often occur when a person's eyes are open. While in a microsleep, a person fails to respond to outside information. A person will not see a red signal light or notice that the road has taken a curve, which is why this phenomenon is of particular interest to people who study drowsy driving. During a microsleep, a pilot might not be aware of flashing alarm lights in the cockpit.
Microsleeps are most likely to occur at certain times of the day, such as pre-dawn hours and mid-afternoon hours when the body is programmed to sleep.
Microsleep periods become more prevalent with cumulative sleep debt. In other words, the more sleep deprived a person is, the greater the chance a microsleep episode will occur.
It is not clear what happens in the brain during microsleep. It appears that some part of the brain effectively falls asleep while the rest is awake. This could account for selective loss of awareness without the person feeling he or she has been asleep.
People with sleep disorders often experience microsleeps, but pretty much everyone can have them, particularly if they are tired. It should be noted that "Excessive Daytime Sleepiness", a well-recognized symptom of insomnia, is not the same as microsleep, although microsleep episodes often occur during periods of Excessive Daytime Sleepiness. There is a reduction in vigilance – that elusive characteristic of wakefulness.
Researchers have tried to quantify microsleep times and episodes in an attempt to develop a diagnostic tool like the commonly used multiple sleep latency test. However, this has proven difficult and at this time there is no agreed-upon clinical tool for assessing microsleep. The EEG readings are of limited use because the changes during microsleep are subtle. German scientists have attempted to use detection of "alpha events" to identify microsleep. The EEG is more useful at a macro-level while microsleep is characterized by sections of the brain falling asleep while others stay awake.

Sleep deprivation linked to weight loss
According to the researchers at the Colorado’s Sleep and Chronobiology Laboratory, staying awake all night helps burn 135 calories, which is equivalent to walking slightly less than two miles.
“We found that people do expend more energy when they are awake in bed than when they are asleep,” the Daily Express quoted lead researcher Professor Kenneth Wright as saying.
"While the amount of energy savings for humans during sleep may seem relatively small, it actually was a little more than we expected," said Wright, also a faculty member in CU-Boulder's integrative physiology department and director of CU-Boulder's Sleep and Chronobiology Laboratory.
Study particulars
In the first-ever quantification of energy expended by humans during sleep, the researchers at the University of Colarado studied 7 young adult participants.
All the participants were required to stay in bed for the entire three-day study.
On the first day, the participants were asked to stay awake for 16 hours followed by eight hours of sleep. On the second and third day, they had 40 hours of continuous wakefulness followed by eight hours of recovery sleep.
The participants spent the sleep deprivation night watching movies, reading, and talking, the researchers said.
As part of the study, the researchers studied the effects of sleep stages ranging from light sleep to rapid-eye movement sleep to deep, "slow wave" sleep and awakenings from sleep on whole body energy expenditure, the Science Daily reports.
The research team also measured the type of energy participants were burning and their oxygen intake.
Study findings
It was found that participants used 7 percent more energy when they were deprived of sleep compared to a typical night sleep.
In contrast, they used up less energy in the recovery period which included 16 hour wakefulness followed by eight hours of sleep.
"Understanding the function of sleep, especially in humans, is considered one of the most important scientific enigmas," the study published in the 'Journal of Physiology' suggests.
The study also found that sleep deprivation increased energy expenditure, indicating that staying awake under bed-rest conditions is energetically costly.
“The amount of energy storage needed to explain the obesity epidemic is 50 calories a day, so the finding is meaningful,” Wright added.
Study implications
Scientists believe that the findings may imply for those with sleep disorders like sleep apnea, or insomnia.
Insomnia, marked by difficulty going to and staying asleep, and sleep apnea, marked by frequent arousals from sleep, may mean such people "are burning the furnace at a higher rate at night because their sleep is disturbed," said Wright.
Though the findings are hopeful, more research is needed to address the issue in patients with sleep disorders.
One of the key areas scientists are interested in is how sleep loss might contribute to weight gain and obesity.
Wright stressed that calorie burn or energy expenditure while staying awake is not a good idea to lose weight, as other studies have linked chronic sleep deprivation with the impaired cognition.

What is sleep apnea?
Sleep apnea is a disorder characterized by a reduction or pause of breathing (airflow) during sleep. It is common among adults but rare among children. Although a diagnosis of sleep apnea often will be suspected on the basis of a person's medical history, there are several tests that can be used to confirm the diagnosis. The treatment of sleep apnea can be either surgical or nonsurgical.
An apnea is a period of time during which breathing stops or is markedly reduced. In simplified terms, an apnea occurs when a person stops breathing for 10 seconds or more. If a person stops breathing completely or take less than 25% of a normal breath for a period that lasts 10 seconds or more, this is an apnea. This definition includes complete stoppage of airflow. Other definitions of apnea that may be used include at least a 4% drop in oxygen in the blood, a direct result of the reduction in the transfer of oxygen into the blood when breathing stops.
Apneas usually occur during sleep. When an apnea occurs, sleep usually is disrupted due to inadequate breathing and poor oxygen levels in the blood. Sometimes this means the person wakes up completely, but sometimes this can mean the person comes out of a deep level of sleep and into a more shallow level of sleep. Apneas are usually measured during sleep (preferably in all stages of sleep) over a 2-hour period. An estimate of the severity of apnea is calculated by dividing the number of apneas by the number of hours of sleep, giving an apnea index (AI in apneas per hour); the greater the AI, the more severe the apnea.
A hypopnea is a decrease in breathing that is not as severe as an apnea. Hypopneas usually occur during sleep and can be defined as 69% to 26% of a normal breath. Like apneas, hypopneas also may be defined as a 4% or greater drop in oxygen in the blood. Like apneas, hypopneas usually disrupt the level of sleep. A hypopnea index (HI) can be calculated by dividing the number of hypopneas by the number of hours of sleep.
The apnea-hypopnea index (AHI) is an index of severity that combines apneas and hypopneas. Combining them gives an overall severity of sleep apnea including sleep disruptions and desaturations (a low level of oxygen in the blood). The apnea-hypopnea index, like the apnea index and hypopnea index, is calculated by dividing the number of apneas and hypopneas by the number of hours of sleep.
Another index that is used to measure sleep apnea is the respiratory disturbance index (RDI). The respiratory disturbance index is similar to the apnea-hypopnea index; however, it also includes respiratory events that do not technically meet the definitions of apneas or hypopneas, but do disrupt sleep.
Sleep apnea is formally defined as an apnea-hypopnea index of at least 15 episodes/hour in a patient if he or she does not have medical problems that are believed to be caused by the sleep apnea. This is the equivalent of approximately one episode of apnea or hypopnea every 4 minutes.
High blood pressure, stroke, daytime sleepiness, congestive heart failure (low flow of blood to the heart), insomnia, and mood disorders can be caused or worsened by sleep apnea. In the presence of these conditions, sleep apnea is defined as an apnea-hypopnea index of at least five episodes/hour. This definition is stricter because these individuals may be already experiencing the negative medical effects of sleep apnea, and it may be important to begin treatment at a lower apnea-hypopnea index.
While it is true that not everyone needs the same amount of sleep, everyone needs whatever for them is 'enough.' 'Enough' means that the sleep is adequate to rest the body and allow the mind a needed recess from the necessary activities of consciousness that preoccupy most of our waking hours. Not getting enough sleep to achieve these two fundamental needs is referred to as Sleep Deprivation. Sleep Deprivation is damaging to your health, both physically and psychologically. The impact of not getting as much as you need can be broad-ranging and frightening.
This brief article summarizes some of the most common psychological (or Mental Health) consequences of sleep deprivation.
Inadequate sleep can and does cause people to develop symptoms which look a lot like and can be easily mistaken for some specific disorders. Since accurate diagnosis is a prerequisite for determining appropriate treatment, anything that makes that process more obtuse and confused, can delay good treatment or, in a worst case scenario, actually result in inappropriate treatment being given.
Among the best understood mental health consequences of a person not getting sufficient sleep are:
ADHD: The Inattentive Type
Sleep deprivation often causes inattentiveness while awake. It becomes difficult to focus and sustain attention. Memory, especially short-term memory, becomes rather quickly compromised. Reflexes are slowed as well and driving when sleep deprived is a notoriously dangerous activity.
Although ADHD is commonly thought of as a problem for children, adults can suffer from ADHD as well. People of any age can experience and suffer from sleep deprivation.
Although ADHD is understood to be more of a physical than a psychological disorder, it has many mental health implications and is, consequently, treated by mental health professionals and physicians who specialize in Psychiatry. Mistaking inattentive symptoms of inadequate sleep with ADHD can be a rather serious diagnostic error. Since real ADHD is frequently treated with stimulant medications, such medicines can further interfere with a person's ability to get good sleep.
Mood Disorders
There are two basic varieties of what mental health professionals call Mood Disorders. Some are "Mono-polar" and include mood problems characterized by the intensity and intractability of a singular mood. Depression is probably the most commonly known and recognized one of these.
The second variety of mood disorder and the one having gained a good deal of mass-media and public attention in recent years, is the family of "Bi-polar" disorders. These are conditions manifested by the 'cycling' of moods from one extreme (like depression) with another (like mania, euphoria or rages.)
Both Major Depression and Bi-Polar Disorders are serious conditions requiring specific medical and other therapeutic intervention. Sleep deprivation can actually result in a kind of mimicking of the symptoms of those disorders.
Psychoses
Extended sleep deprivation can result in symptoms ordinarily associated with Schizophrenia and other thought disorders. These can include hallucinations (both auditory and visual) and paranoid ideation.
Without enough sleep, a person's mind can simply not stay well!
A final caution:
The impact of sleep deprivation is understood to be cumulative. The effects cannot be neutralized by getting more sleep on another day. The impact builds up. Continuing inadequate sleep poses the greatest risks and can lead to the development of the illness-like symptoms described above.
In nearly 40 years of direct clinical practice, I have seen each of these things as presenting complaints that, on examination, turn out to be reactive consequences of inadequate sleep. It is best to know how much sleep your own body and mind require to function well and then to make it a priority to get it - regularly.

Inability to Concentrate in Class * An "overwhelming drive to sleep replaces any chance of alertness, cognition, memory or understanding" in students, says Cornell University psychologist James B. Maas, PhD. No matter how fun or interesting the class might be, students can't retain information when they're struggling to keep their eyes open. This lack of concentration causes them to go home unaware of assignment due dates, tests dates and have a hazy recollection of the lecture as a whole. * Sponsored Links * Start Download
Download Free Software: Converter Download Here! www.Donwload.pconverter.com Effects on Mood and Health Indirectly Affect School Grades * Students with sleep deprivation face cognitive and emotional difficulties. Lack of sleep causes weight gain in some people because it affects the hormones responsible for regulation metabolism. While a person sleeps, sugar and starch are metabolized to release energy. In a person staying up late at night, a portion of that energy is stored as fat instead. Long-term effects of sleep deprivation on a student's health include heart palpitations, mood disorders, increased anxiety levels and obesity. It becomes much more difficult for students facing these problems to study as opposed to students who are healthy and well rested.
Psychopathologies
* Lack of sleep also causes serious mental health issues. Lack of sleep for a few days causes mood swings and irritability and prolonged periods of sleep deprivation may cause depression. Another psychopathology caused by sleep deprivation is ADHD or Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. This disorder prevents students from being able to pay attention in class or at home when they're trying to study, causing a decline in grades. 1. How to Reduce Sleep Deprivation Effects * 1
One of the most obvious ways to reduce the effects of sleep deprivation is to try to catch some sleep when you can. While some experts might urge people to avoid napping during the day since it can disrupt nighttime sleep patterns, the only way to effectively reduce the effects of sleep deprivation is to counteract the problem with some sleep. If naps seem to help you become more alert and less sluggish, try to work them into your schedule. * 2
Caffeine can work wonders when you aren't feeling very alert as a result of sleep deprivation, but you have to take care to not rely on caffeine too heavily. This stimulant is potentially addictive and can lose its potency if you use it too much. Use caffeine wisely. A well-timed cup of coffee can make you much more alert, but perpetually popping caffeine pills is only asking for trouble. * 3
Do some physical activity. If you are tired and sleepy you might be able to feel a little less exhausted by doing some quick cardio exercises or other physical activity. Keep in mind that the boost you get from physical activity will be temporary, and you may wind up more exhausted than before. * 4
If you have success with visualization and imagery, try to imagine yourself as alert and active. You might be able to talk yourself into feeling less sleepy. Visualize yourself as bursting with energy and without fatigue. With any luck you'll feel more alert and reduce the effects of sleep deprivation.

You May Also Find These Documents Helpful

  • Good Essays

    Sleep is an essential part of life. Without sleep, the body does not get the energy that it needs to function. Yet a large amount of people do not get anywhere near the amount of sleep they need. Whether it is because of medical reasons or because there just is not enough time in the day, sleep deprivation is a major problem in today's society. The many people who do not get enough sleep usually end up suffering the consequences. No good can come from not getting enough sleep. Sleep deprivation has…

    • 881 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    morning in order to wake up on time is more than likely, suffering from sleep deprivation. It is a problem that can cause harm to the body and personality. Some of the most common health issues a person will endure is cognitive deficiencies, hypertension and weight gain. It has even been argued that sleep deprivation can affect you just as much as being drunk. Unfortunately, with lack of sleep come many unwanted side effects, including impaired cognitive skills needed to function on a daily basis…

    • 450 Words
    • 2 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    The Effect of Sleep Deprivation What is sleep deprivation? Sleep deprivation is when a person does not get enough sleep. It mostly happens with teenagers. But there are also some adults who do not sleep enough either. It happens because of overthinking. It happens also if a person has a health problem that prevents him from getting enough sleep or cause poor quality of sleep. Each person should sleep between seven and eight hours per night. Sleeping is one of the most important…

    • 718 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Powerful Essays

    Effects of Sleep Deprivation Darren Montgomery || 000249114 QBT 1 Task 5 WGU || Mentor: DeeDee Hessler When Thomas Edison set out to create the light bulb, his intention was to reduce the amount of time that people spent sleeping. His idea was that if people had light to work by they could and would work longer hours. In his mind, sleep was something that was not needed and stood opposed to progress (Coren, 1996). “Anything which tends to slow work down is a waste…

    • 1870 Words
    • 8 Pages
    Powerful Essays
  • Good Essays

    Ronzo 3-24-15 Eng 101 Cynthia Dobbins Effects of sleep deprivation Sleep deprivation is a serious issue an estimated 50-70 million U.S. adults suffer from a sleep disorder. (CDC para.1) This is a problem that can effect anyone. Getting a good night’s rest is very important to having a productive day, not getting enough sleep is a lot like wasting a day. There have been a countless number of studies on sleep deprivation to back up the fact that getting enough sleep every night is a fundamental necessity…

    • 824 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Powerful Essays

    Running header: Sleep deprivation University of Buffalo (SIM) (UB- SIM) Sleep Deprivation and its Effects Focusing on Effects on: Health, Performance and Cognitive Functions Tan Jing Wen Marius Tan Li Xuan Rayna Tan Mei Yu Teo Zi Wei Cheryl 16 Nov 2012 Abstract This paper is on the effects of sleep deprivation. The central research question of this paper is: What are the effects, according to recent literature, of sleep deprivation on someone’s health, performance…

    • 2630 Words
    • 11 Pages
    Powerful Essays
  • Good Essays

    have shown that the optimum amount of sleep a person should get each night is seven to eight hours. Many people have trouble getting this amount of sleep. Between work, family obligations, and household chores, too often a person gets only a few hours of sleep a night. What effect does sleep deprivation have on people? Sleep deprivation has a definite effect on learning, memory, and the ability to think clearly. If a person is not able to get a full night's sleep after learning something new, he will…

    • 551 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    EFFECTS OF SLEEP DEPRIVATION What is sleep? Is it just the period of time in which you rest? Is it nothing more than that? Sleep is a physical and mental state of rest in which a person becomes moderately inactive and unaware of the environment. Although our bodies are a picture of tranquility while we sleep, there are a numerous biochemical, physiological, and psychological events constantly taking place which we do not know about. There is an alarming lack of awareness about sleep in the medical…

    • 449 Words
    • 2 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    physiological process that sleep deprivation can affect is the plasticity of the hippocampus. When applied in stressful environments, the amount of glucocorticoid production increases (McEwen, 1999). This increase in stress hormones correlates to the atrophy or the shrinkage of the hippocampal region. While this correlation is strongly related, other factors do in fact play a part in hippocampal atrophy. For example, the amount of dentate gyrus neurons in the brain could also have an effect on the rate or induction…

    • 2205 Words
    • 9 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    Joey Hernandez Boston ENGL 1301.6020 2 November 2012 The most beautiful thing on the earth… Sleep. Procrastination, the biggest downfall of the students across the educational world, many people joke on the subject, such as high schools throughout America claim to have a “procrastinators unite club” the joke being that the club is always uniting tomorrow. Every student has procrastinated at one point in their studies, whether it is last minute cramming for a big test or writing an explanatory…

    • 1066 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Good Essays