What happens when you’re sleep deprived?

What happens when you’re sleep deprived?

Sleep deprivation can creep into a person’s life in many ways.

There are more than 85 sleep disorders recognized by the American Sleep Association affecting more than 70 million Americans. Most cases remain undiagnosed and untreated.

“It could be the stresses of daily living, or a medical condition that may disrupt our sleep” says Dr. Naresh Upadhyay, pulmonologist at Advocate Trinity Hospital in Chicago. “Or, perhaps we trade sleep for more leisure or work time, which makes us sleep deprived.”

Sleep plays a critical role in thinking and learning, ultimately impacting productivity, performance, concentration and memory. Lack of sleep impairs attention, concentration, reasoning and problem solving, making it more difficult to learn and retain efficiently, says Dr. Upadhyay.

He also expresses that a consistent lack of sleep can lead to sleep deprivation or insomnia, which can cause health issues such as memory loss.

Losing sleep can also impact others.

Driving while drowsy can slow reaction time as much as driving drunk. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that fatigue is a factor in 100,000 auto crashes and 1,550 crash-related deaths each year in the U.S.

Most sleep deprived people are likely to have other medical conditions, which can be linked to anxiety disorders, depression, high blood pressure and obesity, Dr. Upadhyay says.

The pulmonologist also recommends some light exercises like taking a brisk walk before bedtime, reading, avoiding caffeine such as tea and coffee for at least four hours before going to sleep, and eating at least two hours before bedtime.

The National Sleep Foundation recommends adults get at least seven to nine hours of sleep each night and maintain a sleep schedule.

Related Posts


One Comment

  1. I’m an entrepreneur by day and a 911 oper at night. Most days I only sleep 2-4 hours. I know this isn’t healthy.

Subscribe to health enews newsletter

About the Author

health enews Staff
health enews Staff

health enews staff is a group of experienced writers from our Advocate Health Care and Aurora Health Care sites, which also includes freelance or intern writers.