Sleep deprivation is considered by most people as a simple problem that will not cause any damage to the body and that can be treated by sleeping in when they have the time. However, it is actually more than that, for it has effects that can be detrimental to your health.

For the body to recuperate from the stress and all the activities that it does in a day, it needs to rest and that is done through sleeping. An average adult needs about six to eight hours of sleep daily for the body to fully recuperate. However, there are instances when the amount of sleep that you need is not met and if this happens constantly, it will lead to sleep deprivation. Sleep deprivation when simply defined is the lack of sleep. This is a rampant problem that affects about 25% of the entire population of the United States.

There are several causes of sleep deprivation. It can be caused by sleep disorders such as insomnia, narcolepsy, REM sleep behavior disorder, sleepwalking, snoring, sleep apnea and restless leg syndrome. It can also be because of chronic health conditions which can include obesity, heart diseases, diabetes and depression. For most people, the high paced lifestyle that they have today is the cause of sleep deprivation. Most people spend more time at work than at home, giving themselves only a few hours of sleeping and then going back to work again. There can also be environmental factors that can lead to developing sleep deprivation and these include coffee intake before going to bed and an uncomfortable sleeping area.

What will happen if you continuously deprive your body of sleep? There are actually a lot of physiological effects that will continue to worsen if you do not manage it well. Your body’s immune system will weaken, making you at risk for developing different diseases. Headaches are also common as well as memory loss that can affect how you function at work or at school. Eye bags or periorbital puffiness is also a common effect as well as having blood shot eyes. Other effects include hand tremors, body malaise, muscle aches, depression, being sensitive to cold and irritability. It can also cause an increase in blood pressure and an increased risk for developing diabetes and fibromyalgia.

With the effects of sleep deprivation, it is important that it should be managed as early as possible. The treatment will depend on the underlying cause of this disorder. If you have a high paced lifestyle where you spend too much time at work or going out at night, you need to manage your time carefully so that you can have more time for sleeping. If your sleep deprivation is caused by sleeping disorders, you will need to be evaluated properly by a physician to correctly diagnose the type of sleeping disorder that you have. You may be given medications to help you but this will depend on the physician’s evaluation of your condition.

If you are suffering from sleep deprivation, you have to manage it properly so that you will not suffer from the effects that were mentioned above. It would be better to have it treated earlier than having regrets later on.

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