The Real Impact of Sleep Deprivation

sleep deprivation

photo: OnePixel

People of all ages and backgrounds grapple with sleep deprivation. Learn more about the issue and how to regain control of your sleep cycle here.

In the United States, it’s estimated that 30 percent of adults and 66 percent of adolescents face sleep deprivation. Left unchecked, this issue can cause serious bodily harm and greatly impact a person’s health. Find out what happens to your body and brain when you miss out on getting the proper amount of sleep via the informative video below.

As highlighted in the video above, losing valuable zzz’s can result in hormonal imbalance, illness, and, in extreme cases, lead to death. Generally speaking, adults need seven to eight hours of sleep a night, and adolescents need about ten.

When we don’t get enough sleep, learning, memory, mood, and reaction time are all greatly impacted. Sleep deprivation may also cause inflammation, hallucinations, high blood pressure, and has even been linked to diabetes and obesity. We need deep sleep in order for our bodies to be replenished and repaired.

As illustrated by the case of the devoted soccer fan who stayed awake for 48 hours straight and died from a stroke, lack of sleep can be downright deadly. Studies show that chronically sleeping fewer than six hours a night increases stroke risk by four and half times compared to those getting a consistent seven to eight hours of sleep.

While we are awake, our brain produces byproducts that need to be cleared out completely each day. The brain’s glymphatic system cleans out this waste from in between brain cells by flushing cerebrospinal fluid through the organ. This ‘housekeeping’ only takes place while we sleep and neurological issues can develop if this process doesn’t remove all waste.

As scientists and researchers continue to make discoveries surrounding the importance of restorative sleep, we do know that getting enough shuteye is imperative when it comes to our health. Wondering is you fall into the sleep deprived bracket? Check out the following breakdown of signs and issues that may develop.

Signs of Sleep Deprivation

– The feeling of drowsiness throughout the day.

– Falling asleep within five minutes of your head hitting the pillow.

– Experiencing “microsleeps,” temporarily nodding off while you should be awake.

– Lack of sex drive in adults.

– Difficulty learning new concepts or new tasks.

– Decreased motivation.

– Larger than normal appetite, cravings for carbohydrate-rich and sugary foods.

– More clumsiness than normal.

– Weight gain.

– Acting more impulsively.

– Trouble making decisions.

– Changes in vision.

– Complexion issues such as more acne and the development of wrinkles.

Issues Linked to Sleep Deprivation 

– Trouble thinking clearly, slow reaction time, and memory problems.

– Changes in mood, irritability, depression, and increased anxiety.

– Problems in personal relationships.

– Increased risk of serious accidents.

– Weakened immune system and longer recovery process.

– Increased risk of chronic illnesses, respiratory diseases, and cardiovascular diseases.

– Hormone production problems, including growth hormones and testosterone in males.

If sleep deprivation is impacting you, there are steps you can take to regain control over your sleep cycle. Creating a consistent bedtime routine and sleep-friendly bedroom environment is a great place to start.

Although technology is often seen as a distracting barrier when it comes to getting quality sleep, a recently unveiled mobile app called Endel changes that initial assessment. This groundbreaking iOS app generates real-time personalized sound environments to enhance sleep, focus, relaxation. These algorithm-powered soundscapes help calm the mind, minimize daily distractions, and prevent brain fatigue.

Users can choose from four different sound modes based on their exact needs —Sleep, Relax, Focus, and On-the-Go. Besides manifesting a soothing and physiologically natural soundscape, Endel also adapts real-time to a number of personal inputs like location, time zone, weather, and heart rate.

Sound is a powerful entity and relaxing sounds have been shown to reduce stress and anxiety while also having a positive effect on heart rate and blood pressure. Your biological clock, which produces circadian rhythms, is in tune with nature’s organic rhythms and cycles. Endel complements these to improve how you feel and also uses pentatonic scale plus pure intonation to create simple sounds that are both pleasant and physiologically natural.

Modern life is fraught with different obstacles, fortunately technology is being used to push back and help individuals regain control over their most basic need— sleep. Download Endel at the App Store here or via the button below.

relaxing sounds  

Want to test out a newly released Endel playlist? Click the “play” button below to preview the Cloudy Night playlist. Choose “listen” in the top right corner if you wish to view the full album via Apple Music or Spotify. Check out four additional sleep playlists by following this link.

Sleep: Cloudy Night Playlist Preview

Sources: National Institute of Child Health and Human Development , Medical News Today, Health