Sleep deprivation is a state of lack of enough sleep for a prolonged period. It affects people differently, leading to clumsiness, fatigue and cognitive impairment to some and alertness, increased energy, and mood enhancement to others. Whichever way you look at it, sleep deprivation is not good for your health and can be brought by many factors among them sleeping on an uncomfortable pillow. Checking whether a pillow is right for your sleeping position is essential when buying pillows for examples. Same applies to mattresses.
Here are the effects of sleep deprivation
1. Cognitive impairment
Adequate sleep fine-tunes the body-mind awareness. If you don’t get enough sleep, this awareness is impaired. Your mind can hardly process information. You can hardly concentrate on anything that you are doing. Students cannot concentrate in class. Attention Deficit Disorder slowly creeps in, and you cannot even watch your favorite TV program for a few minutes. Your reaction time increases and accuracy decreases. In the long term, you are mentally impaired.
2. Increased risk of obesity
As you deny yourself enough sleep, fat takes its sweet time to accumulate under your skin. As you work overnight, for instance, you will have food cravings that will be hard to stand. You will find yourself eating three meals at night just like the daytime. Your body has more food than it requires. Sleep deprivation is also associated with poor eating habits like the binge-eating disorder where you are obsessed with food. You are always hungry, and you eat anything edible. You can guess the next problem. It is obesity of course.
3. Increased risk of heart diseases
We just talked about sleep deprivation and obesity. With obesity comes all the weight-related illnesses. Precisely, chronic sleep restriction makes one vulnerable to kidney diseases, high blood pressure, stroke, type 2 diabetes and depression. It all begins when chronic sleep deprivation impairs the body immune system. When the body’s ability to fight diseases is adversely affected, prepare to meet the wrath of any disease. Even the mildest of diseases like flu will hit you very hard. Some, like the ones mentioned here, are life-threatening.
Sleep deprived people have symptoms similar to those of the people suffering from Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. These symptoms include irritability, memory lapse, fidgeting, unceasing movements from one place to the other, talking nonstop, and overreaction to feelings. With these symptoms, it is difficult to have a high quality of life. You can’t watch a full movie with your significant other. Neither can you watch your kids play or have fun in school. You have hallucinations and you yawn severely all the time. You move helter-skelter like a cat on hot bricks and you are always hungry. Then the worst part of it comes. You can’t even focus on the road while driving. Drowsy driving claims numerous lives every year and leaves scores of other people injured. This is my plea to all of you: pay close attention to the number of hours you sleep if you are a driver.
In summary, minor sleep deprivation is almost unavoidable. None of us can claim to have perfect sleeping habits, keeping in mind that even oversleeping is wrong. We have all burnt the midnight oil or overslept at some points in our lives. You want to meet an important deadline and you have been busy all the day. It is okay to remain awake for a night or two. What is wrong is prolonged sleep restriction.