In basic terms, sleep deprivation just means not getting enough sleep. It could be acute or chronic, and in most cases it will eventually cause fatigue, daytime sleepiness, weight gain or loss, and clumsiness.
If you do not get at least six hours of sleep every night on a regular basis, you are most likely going to end up sleep deprived. There can be physical or mental causes for this condition, and there are four general categories of this condition:
There are specific medical issues that can cause a person to become sleep deprived, such as depression or anxiety. Physical conditions such as chronic pain and asthma could also be contributors. One major cause for sleep deprivation is pregnancy.
If you do not eat right, drink too much alcohol or caffeine, or if you smoke you may be causing yourself to lose sleep at night. An additional cause could be if you place your exercise time too close to your bedtime.
There are specific medications that can cause sleep problems, especially in large doses. In the event that you think this may be the cause of you problem, never stop taking your medicine altogether. Be sure to talk to your doctor regarding your concerns, and then your dosage may be lowered or you may be able to change medications.
If it doesn’t seem like any of these things are what is causing your problem, you may actually have a clinical sleep disorder. Some examples of sleep disorders are insomnia, narcolepsy and sleep apnea. If you suspect that you have a sleep disorder it is absolutely necessary to seek medical attention for treatment.
If you are deprived of sleep, it will not just affect your health and job, but also your safety and relationships with others. Of course your first concern should be the additional health risks involved in not getting enough sleep. However, this can also take its toll on your work life.
You are not able to concentrate as well, and your reaction time is impaired which greatly increases the chances for you to make errors. Sometimes you may even end up falling asleep at work. Additionally, people who lack sleep are more irritable and lack patience. This can directly affect relationships with friends and family. People who are deprived of sleep almost always have problems in their relationships. There is also an increased risk of accidents in the workplace when people can’t concentrate due to lack of sleep.
The way that this condition gets treated depends upon the actual cause. You can try making small changes such as getting a more comfortable pillow or bed. Sometimes getting a nice hot bubble bath before bedtime can help relax you more, and you can also try avoiding exercise close to bedtime.
There are many different types of over the counter treatments that you can try for sleep deprivation, but if you are in doubt you should contact your physician for additional help with this problem.