Proper sleep is one of the most important things necessary to maintain physical and mental health. After all, sleep is the time when your body gets to rest and repair itself after a long day while the brain processes information and consolidates memories. Most people need between seven and eight hours of sleep every night to function properly.
However, not everyone can get the recommended amount of sleep every night. Many people suffer from some form of sleep deprivation, which can significantly impact their health, productivity, and even well-being.
To help you better understand this condition, below, you’ll find information on the different stages of sleep deprivation and possible ways to treat it.
Read on and find out everything you need to know about sleep deprivation!
What Is Sleep Deprivation?
Sleep deprivation is a disorder that occurs when you don’t get enough sleep. It can be caused by various factors, including poor sleep habits, medical conditions, work schedules, stress, and even certain medications.
While some people may only experience mild symptoms of sleep deprivation, others may find it difficult to function properly during the day. In severe cases, sleep deprivation can even lead to serious health problems.
How To Treat Sleep Deprivation?
The best way to treat sleep deprivation is to get more rest. This may sound like an obvious solution, but it’s often easier said than done. If you’re having trouble sleeping at night, there are a few things you can do to improve your sleep habits, including:
- Establish a regular sleep schedule. Go to bed and wake up at the same time every day, even on weekends.
- Create a relaxing bedtime routine. Avoid working or using electronic devices in bed. Instead, try reading or taking a bath before bed.
- Keep your bedroom dark, quiet, and cool. Make sure no bright light or noise can disturb your sleep.
- Exercise regularly. Physical activity can help improve your sleep quality. Just make sure to avoid exercising too close to bedtime.
If you’re still having trouble sleeping, you may want to talk to your doctor about other treatment options. As mentioned above, in some cases, sleep deprivation can be caused by an underlying medical condition, such as sleep apnea or restless legs syndrome. It means that treating these conditions can help improve your sleep quality.
What Are The Stages Of Sleep Deprivation?
We can distinguish 5 stages of sleep deprivation that can be identified using the following symptoms:
1. 24 Hours Without Sleep
If you haven’t slept for 24 hours, you may start to feel drowsy and have trouble focusing. You may also experience mood swings and irritability. Your reflexes will also be slower, making driving or operating machinery much more dangerous.
2. Awake for 36 Hours
After 36 hours without sleep, your symptoms will become more pronounced. In addition to feeling drowsy and unfocused, your decision-making skills and memory will become impaired. You can also experience difficulty understanding social cues and controlling your emotions.
3. 48 Hours Without Sleep
At this point, your body will start to experience physical and mental changes. You may see or hear things that aren’t there and even experience depersonalization. Your coordination and balance will also be severely affected, making it difficult to walk or stand.
4. 72 Hours of No Sleep
If you still haven’t slept after 72 hours, any delusions or hallucinations you experienced will become more intense. You may also start to feel paranoid and have trouble thinking logically.
At this point, microsleeps will also become more frequent. Microsleeps are brief periods of sleep that can last for a few seconds to a few minutes. They can occur without you even realizing it, which can be extremely dangerous if you’re doing anything requiring concentration or coordination, such as driving.
5. Awake for 96 Hours
After 96 hours without sleep, you will start to experience severe changes. You may become delirious and have trouble distinguishing reality from fantasy. At this point, your body desperately needs sleep, and you may even fall asleep without meaning to.
Sleep deprivation psychosis may also set in. Delusions, hallucinations, and paranoia characterize sleep deprivation psychosis. It can be extremely dangerous and may even lead to self-harm or violence.
Fortunately, sleep deprivation psychosis usually passes once you’ve gotten some sleep. However, it’s important to seek medical help if you start to experience these symptoms.
Sleep deprivation is a serious condition that can significantly impact your health, productivity, and well-being, no matter the stage you reach. If you’re having trouble sleeping, it’s important to talk to your doctor about treatment options. In severe cases, sleep deprivation can even lead to dangerous health conditions, such as sleep deprivation psychosis.
Fortunately, you can do a few things to improve your sleep habits and get the rest you need. Establishing a regular sleep schedule, creating a relaxing bedtime routine, using natural supplements, and exercising regularly can help improve your sleep quality.
If you still have trouble sleeping despite these measures, you may want to talk to your doctor about other treatment options.
Hopefully, this article has helped you better understand the different stages of sleep deprivation and ways to deal with it!