Have you heard about micro sleep?
In this technologically savvy generation, sleep is certainly not a high priority task on our to-do lists. Micro sleep is that unaware dose of sleep that creeps onto us sans our knowledge such that we realize it only when the waking up happens, mostly with a giddy head.Apart from the usual sleepiness, lack of sleep can kill you! If you think this does not apply to you, hold on. According to a recent study, some guinea pigs died, owing to lack of sleep, proving erstwhile.
Nevertheless, the highlight is not on that. What do you think about sleep deprivation as a medicine for clinically depressed patients? Well, regardless of what you think, the scientists of our times have realized that the patients of depression have earlier phases of REM that occurs too fast. Hence, waking them up or depriving the patient from sleeping at the exact time, is actually beneficial for a healthy and restorative sleep.
What happens if you don’t sleep enough?
With an adult needing 6, 8 or more hours of sleep per day, sleep occupies one third of our day. Being the lone phase where our body restores its health to the full, missing sleep is toxic. As a rule of thumb, to check if you slept enough is by doing this- if you’re waking up with a sleepy head, you just did not reach your sleep quota for the day!
Many factors affect or add to sleeplessness. Insomnia is one of the cause and effects of sleeplessness, affecting up to 37% of the populous at present. It does not mean that sleep deprivation is limited to merely insomnia. Mostly, we take a conscious decision to chuck sleep. Also called voluntary sleep deprivation, sleep loss can also be a direct indicator of mental ailments.
Yet another interesting discovery is obstructive sleep apnea, which momentarily halts the respiration, mid-way to sleep, thus forcing the person to awaken and suffering from chronic sleeplessness after.
It is not how sleep deprivation happens, but what happens due to your sleeplessness!
Many things can go wrong if you don’t sleep. Starting with the disoriented feeling that lessens your concentration as well as consciousness, can also leave you heavily distressed. Skipping sleep for one day might not do the deed, but if you skip the sleep for days, on a stretch, your brain will begin to blur and fog. If this takes a toll on your emotional psyche, the potential to fall into accidents can be high as well.
Missing sleep has its own long-term, benign and malignant consequences.
Effects of Sleep Deprivation on Digestive System
Having a direct relation to the mood and health of a person, sleep deprivation can be a direct causative of many digestive disorders as well as obesity. Logically, if you’re eating regularly without sleep or exercise, surely, obesity is around the curb. Moreover, scientifically lack of sleep has a direct effect on the production of the stress hormone known as cortisol.
It does not stop there, folks! In fact, sleeplessness also decreases the rate of leptin in our blood, which is the sensor of our appetite. Without leptin, the person begins binge eating and ends up obese. Furthermore, the level of the biochemical called as ghrelin is also elevated. The same is an appetite stimulant and thus triggering a chronic binge eating disorder.
Our digestive system is the powerhouse of the human body. In order to provide for the endless restorative processes, it is necessary to eat healthy and sleep healthy. Our body gives a lot of signals when we don’t get enough sleep. One of which is the lack of feeling full even after a heavy meal or even lack of appetite due to stress.
Yet another dangerous impact of sleep deprivation is that it promotes fat storage to make the body weaker towards Type II diabetes.
Effects of Sleep Deprivation on Immune System
If you’ve observed that you have a weak immune system owing to your delayed immune responses and shallow health, sleeplessness might be the culprit. The cause of which is directly linked to the restorative process in sleep during the phase of REM.
Ideally, a sleeper must produce immune responses such as heightened generation of antibodies against infections and the shielding cytokines. These substances are made inside the body of a healthy person and are used to fight influenzas and common coughs. The primary function of the sleep antibodies is also to increase your span of sleep to energize the immune system.
Lack of sleep in the linguistics of immunity, translates to the lack of necessary forces in your immune system to defend the body. It not only lacks the sources to build up the force, but it also lacks the production of important substances to ward off infectious attacks prior to infection!
In addition, a weaker immune system that is consecutively worsened due to sleeplessness also makes it a difficult or critical job of healing your influenza or infectious attack. In addition, chronic sleeplessness can lead to dangerous cardiovascular diseases that can be extreme than on others.
Effects of Lack of sleep on Respiratory System
Often an ignored fact, sleep deprivation can be the direct trigger of your oldest friend- the cough. Although the reasons owe it to a weaker immune system, the cause of erstwhile is a weaker pair of lungs and breathing ailments. Some people also tend to develop a chronic lung disease alongside influenza.
Effects of Lack of sleep on Cardiovascular System
One of the direct effects of sleep on cardiovascular system has been mentioned previously- obesity. For people who take up binge eating, obesity can also further lead to plaguing the blood vessels and decreasing the health of the cardiovascular system.
The main reason for the vital role of sleep in your cardiovascular system is because sleep is the lone time when most of the many blood vessels are repaired. When this stage is skipped, not only does the damage pile up, the same also leads to higher blood pressure. In the worst cases, this can even lead to fatal strokes and terminal diseases. The simplest proof of this is the recent Harvard Study, which took volunteers who had not slept for a day, for the study and found an interesting conclusion. People who did not sleep for 24 hours had high blood pressure and aggravated temper throughout the day.
As stress is one of the main causatives of sleeplessness, the same is a direct foe of our cardiovascular health. It can cramp the blood vessels and lead to even chronic insomnia, clubbed with micro sleep. Longer your lack of sleep, faster your heart palpitations will be. This leads to inflammation of the innards, which results in strained blood vessels. Irregular chronic heart beat and heart diseases can add to immediate heart failure in such patients as well.
Effects on the Central Nervous System
The most important part of any living body, the Central Nervous System is the key to our knowledge. The most important fuel to keep us who we identify ourselves is by being disciplined to our sleep routine. The biggest reason how the CNS is facilitated by quality sleep is because, it is during sleep that hyperactive neurons are calmed down. Our body then prepares new pathways to make new beginnings for fresh thoughts in the morning. Without sleep or micro sleep, it is not just stress that grows, but troubles might seem endless too!
Another important part of quality sleep is the production of the growth hormone from the pituitary gland in addition to the production of repair proteins to treat everyday cell damages in the body. When our body lacks sleep, the brain fails to perform responsibly. This also affects the concentration and awareness about your surroundings. Apart from feeling drowsy or dazed, this also affects your creatively active mind, preventing it from understanding or learning newer topics.
Another dangerous effect of sleeplessness on CNS is the derogatory toll on the memory-both short term and long term. This also leads to impoverished decision-making skills as well as the cognition of the brain. The same can balloon into a hallucination that takes the consciousness off. Provided you’re a patient of narcolepsy or erythematosis, these hallucinations can be extreme. In a majority of chronic insomniacs, manic depression is also observed.
Five Dangers of Lack of Sleep
Sleeplessness can lead to lack of consciousness to deadly accidents in what may seem like a wink to the patient. Often, patients are not aware of the seriousness of the situation until the same becomes critical.
The five deadly dangers of sleep deprivation are
Unlike the psychedelic hallucinations that are mostly warm spirits in warmer colors, sleep deprivation can inflict some crazy and life-changing hallucinations. These can result in adverse effects in people suffering from previous mental disorders as well. Accompanied by paranoia and eerie schizophrenic thoughts, hallucinations due to sleep deprivation occur only in the extreme cases.
In fact, the pathological condition of hallucinations due to sleeplessness can also lead to Fatal familial insomnia, which results in never entering REM sleep.
- Accidental Death
It is not everybody that has sleep deprivation just because a day or two of sleep is missed. We all do it. Be it out sister’s marriage or our own, missing a day or two of sleep is not a big deal. Very rarely observed in humans, if you skip sleep for 7 months or more, you are very vulnerable to death due to sleep deprivation.
Many scientists also vouch for the fact that the shooting up of cardiovascular diseases among many other ailments can reduce the lifespan as well. As fatigue can lead to accidents, people suffering from sleeplessness can also have the common side effect of micro sleep. If the same happens during, say when you’re driving, accident is definite!
- Lack of Sex Drive
If you thought that boasting about your lack of sleep is sexy, perhaps you’ve to think twice. Research shows that both men and women who sleep less also have low libidos compared to people with healthy duration of daily sleep. Sleep deprivation is known to cause fatigue, which is inversely proportion to sexual arousal. The same is why men suffering from the somnipathy of sleep apnea show lower levels of testosterone than their counterparts, resulting in lower arousal.
The consequences of sleep deprivation include short restrictions that tend to take longer for the processes including glucoses that in people who get 8 hours of sleep every day. Ten years ago, a study conducted on sleep depraved masses concluded that majority were high at risk to diabetes mellitus. The serious health risk of diabetes results from the varied or insufficient glucose production in the body.
Lack of sleep also results in impaired tolerance to glucose, which is a disorder called IGT.
- Weight Gain
Yet another serious conclusion of lack of sleep is the binge eating disorder, which eventually results in obesity, over-weight or drastic weight gain. The sleep schedule facilitates the biological clock of our body. When the food and the subsequent digestion processes are delayed, sleep is affected.
According to studies, people who sleep less are prone to obesity 30% more than those who do sleep at least 8 hours daily.
That’s not all the consequences of not sleeping. In fact, I can say that skin damage is something that you’ve surely never thoughts off when deciding to skip sleep. The truth is that sleep deprivation leads to speedy aging and coarse skin that develops dark circles, sallow-look and dullness.
Several methods of treatment are available to cure the sleep deprivation that is chronic in people. One highly acclaimed treatment method is with the good ol’e cup of coffee! Having known to be morning alerting drink, Coffee can help you be wakeful without the negative virtues of usual sleepiness.
The best medicine to sleeplessness is sleep and even one night of cozy sleep can help to reverse the negative consequences of sleeplessness!
The longest a man has gone without sleep is Randy Gardner for 11 days or 264 hours while the Guinness World Record is held by Maureen Weston for being awake for 449 hours or 18 days!