Sleep Deprivation: Causes and Effects
The effects of sleep deprivation are well known. People often become irritable, forgetful, have difficulty concentrating, lose their appetite and suffer from other symptoms related to lack of rest.
These symptoms may occur even if they get enough sleep at night or throughout the day. A person’s ability to perform mental tasks such as learning new things declines after a period of time when deprived of adequate sleep. There are many reasons why someone might experience these problems. Some of them include:
Lack of sleep causes a drop in your mood and energy level. You feel tired and lethargic.
Your body temperature drops due to low blood sugar (hypoglycemia). Hypoglycemia can cause confusion, depression, fatigue, headache, nausea and vomiting.
If left untreated it can lead to death.
You experience a decrease in your cognitive abilities. Memory loss, memory impairment and impaired judgment are common with insufficient sleep.
A reduction in the amount of oxygenated blood reaches your brain cells, causing damage to neurons and causing long term changes in the way you think. This can result in a decline in mental skills and reasoning abilities.
People who suffer from sleep deprivation can also experience changes in their personality and state of mind. They may become more hostile and agitated or become confused, disoriented and forgetful.
They may develop a condition known as confusion syndrome. This is also known as acute confusional state and it can be a precursor to a serious mental health condition such as psychosis.
If sleep deprivation continues for an extended period of time your body will enter a state of collapse referred to as coma.
Hormones and Sleep
Sleep is an important part of your body’s ability to maintain hormonal balance. Hormones are chemical messengers that control various functions of the body.
During sleep, your body releases growth hormones that stimulate cell regeneration and rebuilding in adults as well as in children.
Sources & references used in this article:
Cellular consequences of sleep deprivation in the brain by V Bennington – … -deprivation-fries-your-hormonesyour-immune-system …
Systemic bacterial invasion induced by sleep deprivation by C Cirelli – Sleep medicine reviews, 2006 – Elsevier
Effects of sleep deprivation on neural functioning: an integrative review by CA Everson, LA Toth – … of Physiology-Regulatory, Integrative …, 2000 – journals.physiology.org