Tag: importance of sleep

What is Sleep Deprivation?

What is Sleep Deprivation?

Sleep Deprivation


Sleep is one of those activities in life that everyone has in common. All beings – humans and non-humans – need sleep. While most people think they know what sleep is and why it is important, people today report they routinely don’t get enough of it.

Interestingly, sleep researchers are just now really starting to uncover exactly what sleep is and why we need it – a field of study that is now termed the “science of sleep.”

Sleep deprivation, of course, is the term used to describe not getting sufficient sleep, whether it is just for a single night or the deprivation is chronic. This article takes a closer look at what sleep deprivation is, how it affects us and why it is so important to correct sleep deprivation quickly.

What Is Sleep, Exactly?

According to Harvard Medical School’s Division of Sleep Medicine, sleep is characterized by measurable changes in brain waves, heart rate, breath, temperature in the body and similar traits.

There are also different stages of sleep, with REM and non-REM being the major ones that are broken down into sub-categories. These stages are each important for different reasons and each stage is needed in order for nightly sleep to be fully beneficial.

How to Know You Have Slept

Most people are predisposed to trust their own self-reports of personal sleep habits. Yet, actually, it can be surprisingly difficult to pinpoint reasons for not feeling rested in the morning – after all, you were supposedly asleep at the time the problems were occurring!

For this purpose, researchers and sleep experts turn to the sleep study to find out exactly what is going wrong. In a sleep lab, your sleep is monitored to better understand issues with falling asleep, staying asleep, falling back asleep and waking.

Undergoing a sleep study can be particularly important if you feel like you are chronically sleep-deprived but you feel like you are sleeping.

What Is Sleep Deprivation?

At its most fundamental, sleep deprivation is being deprived of (i.e. not able to or allowed to) sleep. When you are not able to get to sleep or to get as much sleep as you need, various symptoms can arise to signal it is time to seek help.

Common Sleep Deprivation Effects

Symptoms of sleep deprivation can vary from mild to severe. The most commonly reported symptom of sleep deprivation is feeling sleepy or mentally groggy during the day.

Many people also experience changes in mood, hunger levels, mental focus, memory issues, physical pain and issues with drowsiness behind the wheel. Some patients can experience disorientation, panic or even hallucinations associated with being chronically deprived of sleep.

Here, it is important to understand that some sleep deprivation effects after just one night can potentially be fatal. The impairment your body and brain experiences when sleep deprived can rob you of higher executive brain functions that control judgment, planning and reaction times and put your heart under stress.

Thank you for reading! We think it’s fun to explore both sides of things to help us learn what best fits us. So if you’d like, check out an article about what happens when we sleep too much here!

Americans Are Not Getting Enough Sleep

Americans Are Not Getting Enough Sleep





While sleep is very important for your mental and physical well being, it is also important for our economy. According to a RAND report, ever year, sleep costs the US around $411 billion.

According to the “Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report” by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than a third of adult Americans are not getting sufficient sleep. The study was conducted in all 50 states, as well as the District of Colombia.

The recommended amount of sleep by the Sleep Research Society and the American Academy of Sleep Medicine for adults 18 to 60 years old is 7 hours. People who sleep for fewer hours than what is recommended are at risk of developing several chronic conditions such as high blood pressure, diabetes, obesity, metal illness, stroke and heart disease.

The director of the Population Health Division of the CDC said if people made a few changes in their lifestyle like going to bed each night at the same time and rising every morning at the same time, removing computers and televisions from the bedroom and putting mobile phones on silent, they can get a healthier sleep.

Recommended Sleep

According to National Sleep Foundation, there are 9 age categories for sleep. The following categories and recommend sleep time have been decided by 18 experts in science, sleep, medicine and physiology:

  • Older Adults (65 Years Old) – 7 to 8 hours
  • Adult (26 to 64 Years Old) – 7 to 9 hours
  • Young Adult (18 to 25 Years Old) – 7 to 9 hours
  • Teenagers (14 to 17 Years Old) – 8 to 10 hours
  • School Age (6 to 13 Years Old) – 9 to 11 hours
  • Preschool (3 to 5 Years Old) – 10 to 13 hours
  • Toddler (1 to 2 Years Old) – 11 to 14 hours
  • Infant (4 to 11 Months) – 12 to 15 hours
  • Newborn (0 to 3 Months) – 14 to 17 hours

In the data reviewed by the CDC from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS), it was found that sleep duration varies by race/ethnicity, marital status, geography and employment.

Following are the key findings based on BRFSS:

  • 54% of the Native Hawaiians, non-Hispanic blacks, multiracial non-Hispanics and 60% of the American Indians had a lower healthy sleepy duration compared to 67% of non-Hispanic whites, 66% of Hispanics and 63% of Asians
  • A low adult population living in the Appalachian Mountains and southeastern region reported having 7 hours of sleep every day (studies show that these 2 regions have a high prevalence of chronic conditions, especially obesity)
  • More than 51% of people reported that due to their unemployed state, they weren’t getting enough sleep
  • 72% of the people holding a college degree reported that they weren’t able to sleep well either
  • 67% of married people reported better sleep patterns as compared to 62% who weren’t married and 56% who were separated

Healthcare experts recommend practicing good sleeping habits for healthier sleep. Moreover, adults need to map out their schedule, so that they can take out adequate time for sleep.