An average adult needs about eight hours of night. Many people do not meet this average because of their schedules and they think sleeping is a waste of time. Others suffer from disorders like exploding head syndrome, which may keep them awake all night or wake them up before they meet the required eight hours.
Do you think you are getting enough each night just because you do not feel sleepy during the day? Many people believe the only sign of sleep deprivation is daytime sleepiness, but there are other deprivation symptoms you should watch out for.
Depression, Anxiety, and Irritability
These three conditions can cause deprivation, but they may also be signs of it. A lack of sleep might not make you feel sleepy, but it does cause fatigue and tiredness. The lack of energy or capability to accomplish tasks throughout the day can make you extremely moody, and could result in clinical depression or anxiety if left untreated.
Negative Effects on Memory and Cognitive Functions
One of sleep's primary functions is memory processing. Your brain's memory synapses stabilize (or even improve). A lack of sleep gives your brain less time to relax and stabilize, and makes it more difficult for you to remember things, learn new tasks, or focus on what you are doing throughout the day.
Studies show that the amount you get affects your metabolism and appetite. A lack of sleep may disrupt the hormones regulating these two aspects of your body's functions, and can make you more prone to gaining weight or eating too much. Some researchers believe the obesity problem in the United States has something to do with the increase in the number of people suffering from deprivation.
Drowsiness is the least of your problems when you are. People suffering from severe sleep deprivation experience microsleeps. This means they may fall asleep for a few seconds to half a minute, no matter what they are doing. This is potentially dangerous if you are driving or doing some other risky activity that requires your full attention.
Many humorous sleep quotes make fun of the effects of sleep deprivation, or make it seem like it's better to go without sleep. One popular quote from Warren Zevon goes, "I'll sleep when I'm dead." Never take quotes like this seriously. Better quotes about sleep prove just how important it is to get enough sleep. For example, an old Irish proverb says, "A good laugh and a long sleep are the best cures in the doctor's book." Getting enough hours of sleep each day helps you stay healthy and avoid the negative repercussions of sleep deprivation. If you really cannot afford to sleep for eight hours straight, try to make up for it by napping. Consult with a sleep doctor if you have a hard time sleeping because of a sleep disorder.