It is normally fairly easy to recognize sleep deprivation symptoms. Even though the advantage of getting a good night’s sleep are well known, we should also be aware of the the symptoms and consequences of a reduced amount of sleep. It is possible that sleep deprivation symptoms are not immediately obvious, so you should always bear in mind this possibility and look for more hidden signs. If you are not getting enough sleep, you are very likely to experience some, or even all of the following sleep deprivation symptoms.
Sources of sleep deprivation symptoms
There are various sleep deprivation symptoms that people with insufficient sleep may experience. But first, we should make the distinction between chronic and acute sleep deprivation. The chronic variety will occur after a longer period of time with insufficient sleep and is a lot harder to make up. Acute sleep deprivation will appear when you miss sleep for one night, but make it up over the next few nights. These two kinds will, naturally, have different sleep deprivation symptoms. It is not uncommon for people who systematically go without sufficient sleep, such as university students, to seek medical assistance in removing the consequences. Oftentimes it will happen that, after a long period with not enough sleep, the body will get into a state of constant blur, a kind of semi-awake state, which is only one of the common sleep deprivation symptoms.
Common sleep deprivation symptoms
Extensive research has been conducted in order to examine sleep deprivation symptoms. They have been made on subjects who were allowed to sleep only four hours a night, for a period of six nights. The results have been able to identify the most common among them. The sleep deprivation symptoms that were found are the following: the production of only one half of the normal amount of antibodies in the immune system, the rise of the level of stress-induced hormones, activation of the sympathetic nervous system, the rise of blood pressure and faster beating of the heart. These are common sleep deprivation symptoms, but there are others too: people may easily get irritated, they will often be moody, and may also lose their inhibitions. If these initial symptoms are ignored, apathy may ensue, as well as slower speech, weaker memory and reduced ability for multitasking.
Variations of sleep deprivation symptoms
Not all people will react in the same way to the lack of sleep and experience the same sleep deprivation symptoms as a consequence. Every person has different needs for sleep and different reactions to the lack of it. Some people can function normally with only four to six hours of sleep, while others will be incapacitated if they get less than ten. They may experience such sleep deprivation symptoms as arthritis and other conditions which affect the bone system and cause various kinds of pain. The symptoms in women may include significant hormonal shifts, especially the premenstrual syndrome, as well as complications during the pregnancy. The sleep deprivation in teenagers has been proven to be related to their use of drugs, alcohol and tobacco, even when other sleep deprivation symptoms, such as drowsiness, depression or attention problems were not present.