Getting adequate sleep is critical if you want to ensure your body stays healthy mentally and physically. Without this necessity, you’ll likely be fatigued and won’t have the ability to focus clearly.
Unfortunately, you may not receive the sleep you require, leading to sleep deprivation.
What is Sleep Deprivation?
When you don’t get the sleep required to feel good cognitively and physically, you’ll likely suffer from sleep deprivation. This condition occurs when you’re an adult who doesn’t get the necessary amount of sleep you need.
For most individuals, the number of hours of sleep required to function correctly is 7 to 9 hours per day. Sleep deprivation can cause a variety of problems.
Sleep deprivation can be categorized into different types, from acute to chronic.
Prevalence of Sleep Deprivation
Examining sleep statistics can shed more light on the prevalence of sleep deprivation worldwide. While you might think most individuals get enough sleep each night, the results of studies done in countries such as the United States and India show the opposite.
In the United States, 35 percent of individuals sleep less than seven hours each night. A breakdown of sleep statistics further shows that about 43 percent of Black Americans do not get enough sleep. For Hispanic, White, and Asian Americans, the numbers are slightly less than 70 percent.
Another study conducted in India shows that people in this country aren’t getting enough sleep either.
A sleep study held by a tech giant reported that individuals were sleeping around seven hours and 1 minute regularly. People in Japan are also having trouble getting an adequate amount of sleep and suffer from sleep deprivation.
They come close to statistics in India at an average of six hours and 47 minutes of sleep daily.
Conditions Related to Sleep Deprivation
While you can see sleep deprivation is common among many people in different countries, there are also several other sleep disorders. These can range from insomnia and sleep apnea to restless legs syndrome and narcolepsy.
Looking at each one individually can help explain how they interact with the body.
A common sleep disorder that can affect how you feel is insomnia. It occurs when you find it hard to stay or fall asleep. Insomnia can also occur when you wake up early and can’t get back to sleep. Having a sleep disorder can sap your energy level and decrease your quality of life and ability to perform daily tasks.
In some cases, having a sleep disorder can put your life at risk. This challenge can be seen with sleep apnea. If you’re dealing with this problem, your breathing can stop and start repeatedly.
One of the signs you might be suffering from this challenge is if you feel tired after getting a full night’s sleep and you snore loudly when sleeping. Other symptoms of sleep apnea include having a morning headache, gasping for air during sleep, and waking up with a dry mouth.
Sleep deprivation can leave you tired for short or long periods during the day. However, when this problem is occurring for most of the day when you are usually awake, it can be categorized as narcolepsy.
If you suffer from narcolepsy, you experience overwhelming daytime drowsiness, regardless of your circumstances. You may face severe disruptions in your daily routine due to this disorder.
Restless Legs Syndrome
Another disorder that can occur during the nighttime when you’re sleeping is restless legs syndrome. When you have this condition, it causes an uncontrollable urge to move your legs. This reaction is usually due to having an uncomfortable sensation in your lower extremities.
When you move your legs, it provides temporary relief from the unpleasant feeling. You can get this condition at any age. Unfortunately, it tends to worsen as you age. Fortunately, if you’re suffering from restless legs syndrome, you may find relief by taking medications.
Sleep debt occurs when you sleep for fewer hours than your body requires. This condition is cumulative. If you get less sleep regularly than you need, your amount of sleep debt increases.
For example, if you only get six hours of sleep and the ideal number of hours is eight, you have a sleep debt of two hours. If you continue this pattern for a week, you’ll end the seven days with a sleep debt equaling 14 hours.
When you suffer from this condition, you’ll likely feel tired throughout the day. You can also lose your ability to stay focused and productive.
This interaction with your body can weaken your immune system and make your brain work harder to process and store information.
You can also have a sleep disorder that occurs before you fall asleep, while sleeping or before you wake up. This condition is known as parasomnia. If you are affected by this disorder, you may experience unusual behavior in your body.
This behavior is thought to be associated with the transition that happens in your brain when you fall in and out of sleep. With each parasomnia, distinct symptoms occur and can be categorized into three general groups.
These include NREM-related parasomnias, REM-related parasomnias, and other parasomnias.
REM Sleep Behavior Disorder
When you’re sleeping, it’s best if your body is relaxed and you have pleasant dreams. If you have REM sleep behavior disorder, you know this scenario isn’t always the case.
Having it causes you to make sudden movements with your legs and arms during REM sleep. This behavior occurs when you are dreaming, which is accompanied by dreams that are often unpleasant. Usually, you don’t move during REM sleep, which happens several times when sleeping.
Typically, 20 percent of the time you sleep is spent in REM sleep. If you’d like to see how this sleep disorder affects a person in real life, you may want to watch “Sleepwalk With Me” on DIRECTV STREAM.
It highlights a struggling standup comedian who deals with REM sleep behavior disorder.
Non-24-Hour Sleep-Wake Disorder
Most people fall asleep and wake up close to the same time daily. However, if you have a non-24-hour sleep-wake disorder, your internal body clock isn’t working correctly, which leads to an irregular sleep pattern.
Individuals who have this sleep disorder will start falling asleep and waking up later each day. For example, you might go to sleep at 10 PM and wake up at 7 AM one day and go to sleep at 11 PM and wake up at 8 AM the next day.
This pattern repeats until you go through the 24-hour cycle. Most people with this disorder are blind.
Formally known as somnambulism, sleepwalking is another sleep disorder that can lead to physical harm. Originating during deep sleep, this disorder results in getting out of bed and walking or performing complex behaviors while still sleeping.
While it’s more common in children, adults can have this condition. It’s more likely to happen if you are experiencing sleep deprivation or have a family history of this condition.
If you want to feel your best, getting an adequate amount of sleep is essential. If you’re dealing with one or more sleep disorders, you may want to talk to a medical professional for assistance.
In some cases, changing a few habits can help. Doing your best to get at least eight hours of sleep daily is an excellent place to start.