Are you having trouble sleeping? Do you regularly wake up feeling as if you haven’t slept at all? Are you feeling the effects of a lack of sleep?
Sleep deprivation is a common and serious health issue which can have both short-term impacts on your daily functionality, as well as a long-term impact on your health and overall wellbeing. It’s important to understand the causes and side effects of sleep deprivation so you can better identify the signs and treat this debilitating problem.
The consequences for not receiving sufficient sleep are wide and varied, ranging from minor ramifications such as lack of concentration and irritability, right through to being more accident prone. If you are experiencing any of the symptoms outlined below you may be suffering from sleep deprivation:
Fatigue is a well-known sign of sleep deprivation and its impact should not be underestimated. Not resting sufficiently over a 24 hour period will reduce a person’s hand-to-eye coordinator to the equivalent of having a blood alcohol content of 0.1.
In fact the latest research on the impact of fatigue from New Zealand’s Ministry of Transport shows that in 2015 alone, fatigue was a contributing factor to 43 fatal car accidents, 119 car crashes where a person was seriously injured and 450 minor car crashes.
It’s clear that a lack of sleep can have fatal consequences, but poor or inadequate sleep can also directly result in irritability and stress. Maintaining a regular sleep deficiency – such as chronic insomnia – can increase the risk of developing crippling emotional disorders such as depression and anxiety.
Even partial sleep loss can have an impact on a person’s general mood.
Therefore, it’s important to know how many hours of sleep is normal in order to try and achieve an appropriate amount of rest each night.
Sleep is as essential for good health as oxygen, food and water.
However, the quantity of sleep an individual needs varies. For example, a shift worker may sleep for seven hours each night and try to squeeze a short nap into their day; whereas others may need to sleep for nine hours straight to be well-rested. On average, adults need at least seven to nine hours each night for optimum functionality.
There are easily identifiable ways to tell whether you’re receiving enough sleep each night. If you usually go to bed and fall asleep within 15 to 20 minutes, that’s a healthy sign that sleep isn’t a problem. Similarly, when you wake up you should feel refreshed and alert and ready to take on a new day.
However, if you’re waking up for long stretches throughout the night and struggling to fall back asleep, or if your partner comments on sleep disruptions, such as snoring, chances are you’re not enjoying healthy sleep.
While it’s normal to occasionally have trouble sleeping, it is not normal to regularly experience sleep problems or feel tired throughout the day.
If you know you aren’t getting enough sleep or are constantly feeling lethargic, it’s time to reassess the quality of your sleep in order to identify if you’re experiencing a sleeping disorder.
Some of the most popular sleeping disorders include:
Most people have experienced snoring or have heard someone snore at some point in their lives, as the common sleeping disorder affects up to 40 per cent of men and 20 per cent of women. Not only is snoring extremely disruptive to a household, it can also be a symptom of obstructive sleep apnea.
This restless disorder occurs when you cannot sleep or have trouble staying asleep for periods of time. Insomnia can be prompted by stress, illness or something which is causing you to be distressed and upset. An ideal cure involves dealing with the root of the problem, however if this doesn’t eliminate the sleeping issues professional advice should be sought. In extreme cases, sleep deprivation can even lead to psychiatric problems such as disorientation, hallucinations, memory loss and paranoia.
If you have the urge to move your legs (or arms) during the night, you may have Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS). It may be a habitual movement, or one prompted from an ache, tingle or being uncomfortable.
Sleep apnea is the most common sleeping disorder, affecting more than three in ten men and nearly one in five women. Sleep apnea occurs when the soft tissue in the back of your throat relaxes during sleep and blocks the airway, causing you to momentarily stop breathing and snore loudly during sleep. While many people with sleep apnea aren’t even aware that they have the sleeping disorder, it can be extremely disruptive for a bedtime partner and if left untreated, it can lead to serious health problems over time such as stroke, high blood pressure and weight gain.
For more about what sleep apnea is and how it affects you, visit our webpage.
Sleep holds the key to your health and is vital to your overall wellbeing and enjoyment of life. If you’re concerned with the quality of your sleep and want to explore the condition of your sleep health, take our free online sleep assessment available on our website.
The sleep deprivation test is short and with a dropdown menu with answers to choose from, it’s easy to complete. Your answers to the questions will capture an overall picture of your sleep health that will allow the experts at Eden Sleep to assess your needs and provide you with practical solutions to your sleep problems, ensure you’re receiving the best sleep quality possible.
Take Eden Sleep’s free online sleep assessment today.
Snoring, drowsiness and morning headaches could all be signs of a sleep problem, like sleep apnea. If you think you or someone you know may be affected, complete our Free Sleep Assessment right now:TAKE OUR FREE SLEEP ASSESSMENT