The Surprising Effects of Sleep Deprivation

Jasmine Supplement_Sleep DeprivationSleep is something a lot of people take for granted, partly because it’s very easy to put off. If, for instance, you’re swamped with deadlines and you need to work extra hours, you’ll gladly do so even if it means depriving yourself of sleep and quality rest time in the comfort of your own bed and staying awake until the wee hours of the morning.

Sometimes, sleep deprivation isn’t even related to work. It could be because you simply enjoy partying out all night, or you just can’t fit in all the things you need to do during the day. It’s just easier to cut corners on your sleeping hours, without even thinking of the effects of sleep deprivation.

Alarming Cognitive Effects of Sleep Deprivation

Getting too little sleep can really have adverse effects on a person’s health and well being. According to a paper on the Neurocognitive Consequences of Sleep Deprivation, written by Jeffrey S. Durmer, the lack of sleep can even affect cognitive performance. Here are some of the cognitive effects of not getting enough sleep:

  • The body recovers through voluntary microsleeps.
  • Response time becomes slower and when there’s time pressure, cognitive errors increase.
  • Short term memory and recall will deteriorate.
  • Performance deteriorates when divergent thinking is required and as the duration of the task increases.
  • Loss of situational awareness for activities that may not be deemed necessary.

These findings are alarming, especially because a lot of people deprive themselves of sleep in order to finish tasks for work. However, these cognitive effects show that sleep deprivation is counterproductive. You may meet a deadline that night, but this can cause you to be extremely unproductive the following day.

Adverse Effects on People’s Health

The effects of sleep deprivation are not just limited to cognitive performance. When you lack sleep, your health also suffers. The National Sleep Foundation reports on a study that shows how sleep deprivation affects the immune system in the same way that physical stress does. This means that lack of sleep can cause the immune system to function abnormally, and this means your body can’t fight off diseases as it normally does. The effects of sleep deprivation also include the development of certain diseases, such as hypertension, diabetes and obesity. When sleep loss becomes chronic, the risk for immune system impairment increases.

Effects that are Far from Benign

Another study by the Institute of Medicine (US) Committee on Sleep Medicine and Research further shows that the consequences of sleep loss and deprivation are “far from benign.” It details on effects of sleep deprivation that involve the cardiovascular, endocrine and nervous systems, apart from the immune system. People may be surprised that cardiovascular disease and hypertension, for instance, can be linked back to sleep deprivation. Having anxiety and depression is another common thing that can be linked to this. Clearly, it’s no joke to be suffering from sleep deprivation, especially because its effects can be so adverse. If you’re suffering from such, appropriate corrective actions like taking the right supplements need to be taken right away.

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About Valerie Springfield

Marketing is my profession. Health and wellness is my passion.