Sleep deprivation: This is what happens to your body when you are sleep-deprived

Not getting enough sleep can be a major drag but do you know what actually happens to your body when you are sleep-deprived? Here's what to look out for.

Sleep deprivation can be a very serious issue that can lead to life-long problems which could affect various aspects of one's life. But what causes this to arise in the first place?

The cause of sleep deprivation

Sleep deprivation happens to people who go a long time without getting proper sleep. Studies show that sleeping less than a certain amount of hours can completely destabilize the way your body, as a whole, functions. More often than not, this is the product of an underlying sleep disorder, such as insomnia.

Sleep is just as essential as the air we breathe or the food and water we ingest, so not having enough of it could actually even kill you. Typical signs that one is sleep-deprived include:

  • Excessive daily fatigue
  • Frequent yawning
  • Irritability

How does it affect your brain?

Your central nervous system is the first thing that will be negatively impacted as a result of sleep deprivation. Sleeping is not only a time for rest, it is also the period in which your body heals itself. Your brain will be easily exhausted, rendering it unable to perform its natural duties.

Things like concentration, learning new things, critical thinking and problem-solving will become almost completely impossible. Your coordination and basic motor skills will also be affected.

Your emotional state and mental well-being will also take a beating. For one, mood swings and constant irritability will become the new normal. When sleep deprivation persists for an extended amount of time, hallucinations appear and paranoia settles in, which can trigger mania, especially in those suffering with underlying mental disabilities such as bipolar disorder. Other psychological effects that arise from sleep deprivation include:

  • Impulsive behaviour
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Suicidal thoughts
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