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What are the psychological effects of sleep deprivation?

Why is sleep so essential?

 

With the ever-growing trend of establishing a Healthy Lifestyle, people often undermine the effects that sleep can have over health and other cognitive abilities. With the Y generation, especially, Sleep deprivation is a very hackneyed phenomenon.  Studies have repeatedly proven the fact that sleep deprivation comes with adverse effects on your body and overall brain performance. The Psychological effects of sleep deprivation are not just confined to physical aspects but extends to hamper your well-being as well. So it is safe to say that your mental, emotional, and physical health suffers because of sleep deprivation and that there is a tightly coiled relationship between sleep and mental health. Sleep deprivation affects your psychological state and mental health. Various psychological problems and sleep deprivation often overlap, which can be concluded by assuming they have common biological roots.

 

In order to understand the effects of sleep deprivation, it is necessary to know what tasks your body undertakes while sleeping. 

 

The Brain

 

Firstly, your brain cleanses itself of all the waste, in the form of protein that builds up between cells throughout the day. So, when you are sleep-deprived, all this waste keeps accumulation in your brain cell, leading to a “dampening effect” on brain cell activity which basically translates to slower neuron signaling in the brain while you are tired. Waste build-up and slow neuron signals often result in reduced decision-making skills, reaction times, and reasoning abilities. 

 

The Apettite

Sleep deprivation leads to drastic fluctuations in one’s appetite, leading to the feeling of constant tiredness and eventually hampering the activity of the brain as the brain is deprived of essential components needed for its functioning. You tend to crave a lot of unhealthy food while you are tired and sleep-deprived and when you reward your brain by satisfying the cravings, you fool it into craving more of the unhealthy stuff which eventually leads to weight gain and obesity. 

 

The Immune System

 

While you sleep, your immune system works on recharging itself and makes antibiotics. When you sleep for less than eight hours a day, it puts you at 2.94 times higher the risk of catching a cold. It can be concluded that sleep deprivation weakens your immune system. When you are sleep deprived, your body is deprived of the time to repair itself and fight infections. The work of the immune system happens while you are deep asleep, even slight wakefulness at night may disturb this function. 

 

Consequences

 

Psychological effects of sleep deprivation lead to various problems such as Bipolar disorder, anxiety disorders, ADHD and depression.

Insomnia or sleep deprivation may lead to the acquisition of sleep-related disorders which puts people at higher risk of developing depression. Depression, in turn, may give rise to suicidal tendencies, lowered responsiveness and withdrawal symptoms in the patient. 

Sleep deprivation, over a period of time, also gives rise to bipolar disorder, wherein the person experiences manic episodes and require less amount of sleep than prescribed. In bipolar depression, the patient may also experience hypersomnia, excessive sleepiness. 

Sleep and mental health are a close-knit of biological cycles and hence sleep deprivation can also result in anxiety disorders. Anxiety disorder can hamper the ability of the person to fall asleep and the quality of sleep. Patients suffering from an anxiety disorder often find it difficult to sleep and even if they sleep, their REM cycles are disturbed. Further sleep deprivation may worsen the symptoms of anxiety or also prevent its recovery.  

Another significant result of sleep deprivation can be ADHD (Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder). Sleeping difficulties in children usually affect children with ADHD. This results in shorter sleep cycles, difficulty in falling asleep and restless slumber. Children with ADHD may become inattentive, hyperactive and emotionally unstable. 



How can you improve the quality of your sleep?

 

Hence, it is safe to conclude that good sleep is a necessity for survival. In order to correct your sleeping cycle, a few minor lifestyle changes are mandatory. Excluding caffeine, alcohol will not trigger your brain to stay awake. Whilst, it’s necessary to establish a routine and regularly perform some form of physical activity to ensure a good night’s sleep. Sleep hygiene is another factor contributing to sound sleep and mattress used by you play a vital role too. Lumps, valleys, or even tags on your mattress could contribute to wakefulness. Get a high-quality mattress online through Flomattress. Sleep hygiene means the environment you sleep in. It is essential to sleep in complete darkness, use your bedroom only for sleeping and keeping it distraction-free. You should avoid exposure to anything that emits blue lights as it hampers your sleep cycle. Hence, one must stay away from TV sets, mobile phones, and laptop screens a few hours before going to sleep. 



Making your sleep a priority is extremely important for your mental, physical and psychological well-being, and health. A night of proper sleep will help you rejuvenate, refresh, leaving you feeling energetic and positive throughout the day. Sleeping eight hours a day without any interruption is an eminent part of a healthy lifestyle and is exceptionally compulsive for proper brain functioning