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Not Getting Enough Sleep

Posted by HLC.ME on Sep 30th 2020

Not Getting Enough Sleep

Why Are You Missing Out on Sleep?

There are many effects for the lack of sleep we receive daily. Sleep deprivation occurs when an individual gets less sleep than they need to feel awake and alert. Insomnia affects about 1 in 4 people and is pretty common in the U.S. People vary in how little sleep is needed to be considered sleep-deprived. It is dependent upon age and overall health. Most older people over the age of 65 are less likely to experience sleep deprivation whereas children and young adults are more susceptible to it. 

Health related issues

Not getting enough shut eye can seriously increase your risk of heart disease and other cardiovascular diseases.

  • It can increase your risk of having a heart attack and a stroke.
  • It has also been reported that a decrease in sleeping habits can lead to long term depression.
  • Sleepiness in fact is a symptom of having depression, anxiety disorder, and other mental illnesses.
  • The lack of sleep has also been correlated to the lack of mental assertiveness and brain power. 

Literally, the lack of sleep makes you seem less educated. It impairs your cognitive abilities as well as your ability to concentrate and being able to reason. It is also harder to learn or to stay focus on one specific task. College aged students experience this as they stay up late to cram and the need to wake up early for class or for work. The lack of rest can make you feel forgetful and fatigued at times during the day where you are required to be optimally functioning.

Another health issue that goes unnoticed is that you gain weight faster when you do not sleep. Apart of your fitness regimen, tracking the amount of hours that you sleep is just as important as counting calorie intake. There is a hormone that is released during sleep that causes our appetites to become suppressed. When we lack this hormone we will notice that as we stay up we are also eating more and also at odd hours. Midnight snacking is not really a good thing. A poor immune system is also due to sleep loss. When you have a head cold or the flu for example as part of your treatment your doctor will tell you to get adequate amounts of rest. This helps to boost your immune system, helping to fight off bacteria and infections much faster. 

Human error related issues

As we stated above, sleeplessness impairs your judgement. This goes for emergency service professionals like:

  • doctors
  • firefighters
  • Cops
  • nurses who work long shifts for multiple days at a time.
  • Car accidents and on the job work related accidents increase drastically if you do not have enough sleep.

Most of the errors that occur on the job which causes harm or even death in some cases are due to the lack of sleep.

Causes for sleep deprivation

There are three primary causes for the lack of sleep one gets. The first is intentional. People who work long shifts or those that are pursuing certain career goals tend to sacrifice sleep to get ahead.

  • Entertainers are a group of people who work long days and long nights for months and sometimes years on end. They spend most of their time off relaxing however so they are eventually able to catch up on all the missed nights rest.
  • Entrepreneurs in their early stages are also highly prone to sleeplessness because they stay up later to work on their business while maintaining a regular day job.
  • Young adults sacrifice sleep for a night out on the town or while dating on the weekends.
  • New parents also experience a decrease in their night time rest as they are up at random times to care for the newborn.

All of these reasons are avoidable if necessary.

A physical injury or other forms of health issues may cause lack of sleep. Those in the hospital for long stays normally don’t sleep well during the night. Pain in any form can cause you to remain awake even when you are extremely tired. If you are recovering from a physical injury, a sleeping aide and pain reliever may be prescribed to you to combat sleeplessness. Certain hormonal imbalances can also be the cause of you staying awake.

Lastly, poor psychological and emotional wellness can be detrimental in the amounts of sleep one receives. Depression and anxiety incorporate sleeplessness as one of their symptoms and can be prolonged depending on how long the person has been un-diagnosed. In severe cases, anti-psychotic medications can be prescribed to help a person get back on track with their sleeping patterns.

Related links

https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/307334.php

https://www.webmd.com/sleep-disorders/features/10-results-sleep-loss#1

https://www.pennmedicine.org/news/news-releases/2018/june/1-in-4-americans-develop-insomnia-each-year

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