The Serious Effects Of Sleep Deprivation

Written by Manny Erlich on February 22, 2013. Posted in Sleep Disorder News & Research, Snoring 101

Feeling Sleep Deprived Has Immediate and Long Term Effects

Sleep deprivation is something that most people have felt at least once before. However common, if you are feeling sleep deprived, especially on a consistent basis, this is something that should not be taken lightly.

Based on 2003 U.S. Department of Labor statistics the average number of hours slept by males and females in the United States were 8.48 hours and 8.65 hours, respectively. While both these averages surpass the recommended eight hours suggested for adults, more recent studies show that most adults today are sleeping significantly less than these averages and are likely to be experiencing the effects of sleep deprivation.

In 2005 the National Sleep Foundation’s Sleep America Poll showed that adults in the United States were sleeping an average of 6.9 hours per night. The Poll showed that 48% were sleeping less than 7 hours on weekdays and 71% were sleeping less than 8 hours on weekends.

The Effects of Sleep Deprivation and Consequences

Feeling sleep deprived, especially on a regular basis can have an immediate and long-term effect on your health and well being. The consequences and effects of sleep deprivation include:

  • Reduced alertness and daytime sleepiness can affect the ability to think and process information impacting the level of performance during the day.
  • Disruptions of a bed partner’s sleep due to snoring or other sleep disorders can cause relationship issues.
  • Feeling sleep deprived from lack of adequate sleep can impact an individual’s quality of life. For example, it may influence someone to avoid participating in activities that require full attention.
  • Sleep deprivation increases the chances of sustaining an on the job injury.
  • Sleep deprivation increases the likelihood of being in an automobile accident.

Even more serious, the consequences of feeling sleep deprived can also include an individual’s health. Some health conditions associated with sleep deprivation such as snoring are:

  • High Blood Pressure
  • Stroke
  • Heart Attack and Heart Failure
  • Obesity
  • Depression

If you’ve been feeling sleep deprived you are not alone. According to the American Sleep Disorders Association there are more than 85 sleep disorders affecting more than 70 million people in the United States. Sleep disorders, which and include snoring and sleep apnea cause sleep deprivation. And as common as both are, most people do not have their conditions diagnosed and treated.

The Effects of Sleep Deprivation are severe: Don’t accept it!

If you are feeling sleep deprived, there are steps you can take to find a solution.  The National Sleep Foundation suggests that an individual use its Interactive Sleep Diary to help improve his/her sleep and reduce the likelihood of feeling sleep deprived. The diary will help to document and identify conditions that may be causing your sleep deprivation. The information recorded in the diary may also provide important information to a medical profession if a diagnosis by a professional is sought.


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Manny Erlich

International Foundation of Employee Benefits - Certified Employee Benefits Specialist