Effects of Sleep Deprivation: Risks & Impact

Effects of Sleep Deprivation

Effects of sleep deprivation

We spend at least 30% to 40% of our time sleeping, and we are extraordinarily vulnerable during sleep. Despite this vulnerability, biologically, we cannot forego sleep, which indicates that it must play an essential fundamental role. When we are badly sleep deprived, our cognitive performance goes down. One of the processes that are certainly disrupted is memory. It also interferes with alertness. So we cannot sustain the effort; we cannot sustain attention. And that is one of the primary mechanisms that result in accidents. Impaired sleep behavior is associated with various diseases, including a much higher risk of obesity and dementia.


Top 9 Eye-Opening Effects of Sleep Deprivation: A Must-Read List

1. Accident-prone

2. Memory problems

3. Weekend immune system

4. Weight gain

5. Heart disease

6. Diabetes risk increases

8. Depression

9. Kills sex drive



When sleep-deprived, the decision-making process gets slower, and fatigue makes lapses of attention more likely to occur. You may end up experiencing microsleep during the day, which can be extremely dangerous if you are driving. Drowsiness can slow reaction time as much as driving drunk.

Approximately 1,00,000 reported accidents are due to drowsy driving each year. The problem is most significant among people under 25 years old.


Memory problems

When an individual receives inadequate sleep, permanent cognitive issues such as memory loss are common. Sleep deprivation exhausts your brain, so it can’t perform correctly. During sleep, your brain forms connections that help you process and remember new information. A lack of sleep can negatively impact both short- and long-term memory. It is thought that during sleep, the hippocampus replays the events of the day for the neocortex, where it reviews and processes memories, helping them to last for the long term.


Weakened immune system

When the body does not get enough sleep, it diminishes its ability to find illness. During sleep, the immune system releases specific cytokines, which increase with infection or inflammation or during stress, to combat illness. If the body is deprived of sleep, it may decrease the production of these protective cytokines and infection-fighting antibodies. Getting sufficient hours of high-quality sleep enables a well-balanced immune defense with strong immunity, efficient response to vaccines, and less severe allergic reactions.


Weight gain

Regarding body weight, lack of sleep seems to be related to increased hunger and appetite and possibly to obesity. Sleep deprivation releases a higher insulin level after eating, promoting fat storage.

People who sleep less than 6 hours a day are 30% more likely to become obese than those sleeping 7 to 9 hours.

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Heart disease

Studies show that too little sleep during the younger years can develop cardiovascular problems such as Heart disease. Sleep deprivation may lead to increased blood pressure and higher levels of chemicals linked to inflammation, which play roles in heart disease. People who don’t sleep enough are more likely to get a heart attack.

Risk of diabetes increases

Studies say that 7 to 8 hours of rest is the optimal range to avoid insulin issues that could lead to diabetes. Compared with a fully rested State, sleep loss leads to impaired glucose tolerance.

People with 5 hours of sleep or less are 2.5 times more prone to diabetes

Those getting 6 hours of sleep per night are 1.7 times more likely to have diabetes.



Depression may cause sleep deprivation, and sleep deprivation may contribute to depressive disorders. Symptoms include increased impulsive behavior, suicidal thoughts, and manic episodes. Having a sleep disorder does not itself cause depression, but lack of sleep does play a role. An inability to sleep that lasts over a long period of time is also an important clue that someone may be depressed.


Kills sex drive

Reports suggest that sleep-deprived men and women show lower libido and lesser interest in sex. A study says men with sleep apnea have low testosterone levels.

Treatment for sleep deprivation

Getting adequate sleep, typically 7 to 9 hours each night, is the most basic form of treatment. Refraining from caffeine past noon, going to bed at the same time each night, waking up at the same time each morning, limiting daytime naps, reducing alcohol intake, and avoiding using electronic devices right before bed can get you back on track.


A question to all :

Ever occurred to you, ‘The more you try to sleep, the more awake you are?’



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