Sleep Deprivation – A Root Cause of Many Health Disorders

Sleep deprivation – well, what it is? It’s a condition of not having enough sleep – a very common disorder and a sleep medication. It is the root cause for various health disorders. Recently, a survey was conducted by the Philips with 5,600 respondents of the age group between 35 to 65 years, across 25 cities in India. The survey reveals the fact, “India is one of the most sleep-deprived country”. About 93% of the answers from the respondents shows that they have been sleep-deprived. Of these 93% of respondents, 58% people opined that their work suffered because of lack of sleep, and 11% of the people said that they really fell asleep at work.

One of the surprising facts that came from the respondents is – due to lack of sleep, 11% of them took leave from the work at regular intervals, and 74% of them told that they woke up two to three times during the night.

This may astound you. But, it is a fact that you may be one of the sleep-deprived people. So, you may like to know about the factors affecting the sleep, the consequences of it and the precautions to be taken to overcome sleep deprivation. Then, let’s know them in detail to get rid of sleep-deprivation.

Factors affecting the amount of sleep

The factors that play a significant role in sleep deprivation are:

  • Lifestyle factors, such as, working in shifts will continuously lead to changes in the sleeping hours of a person. This will have a major impact on the person in the form of sleep-deprivation and leads to major health problems.
  • Environmental factors, such as – light, noise, temperature (too hot or too cold) and electronic distortions, doesn’t allow you to sleep; and thereby, effects overall sleep related wellness.
  • Some people sleep more in the daytime and due to excessive daytime sleep, they will not get sleep in the night.
  • Diet – especially if you overeat or not at all eat also makes you uncomfortable to sleep i.e., you can’t get sleep with full stomach or empty stomach. Similarly, drinking water before you go to bed is also not a good habit and disturbs you.
  • Drugs such as sleeping pills, caffeine etc., though may help you sleep for some period or a few days, they lose their effectiveness over a period of time, and contribute to sleep deprivation and insomnia issues.
  • Stress or tiredness is also one of the major causes of insomnia, leading millions of people to stay awake all the night.

These are the major factors that lead to sleep-deprivation. Sleep-deprivation again lead to many health disorders and you can identify this, if you have the symptoms of tiredness, blurred vision, frequent infections and poor concentration etc.

Consequences of sleep-deprivation

Doctors opined that there are nearly 82 known health disorders with sleep-deprivation. Among them, the most prevalent are insomnia and OSA (Obstructive Sleep Apnea). Mark Rosekind, a member of the National Transportation Safety Board said, “Every aspect of who you are as a human, every capability is degraded, impaired, when you lose sleep”. It means that communication aspects, decision-making ability, time to react, awareness of the situation, memory and allied things go down by 20 to 50%.

Some other major consequences of the sleep-deprivation are:

  • Depression
  • High blood pressure
  • Heart disease
  • Diabetes
  • Accidental death etc.

According to Manchanda, 33% of the road accidents are occurring due to lack of sleep. Lack of sleep not only impacts the quality of the life, but also affects the productivity of the person’s life. So, in order to get rid of all these consequences and to lead a healthy life, a person should have the minimum sleeping hours, based on the age that is listed below

Age and Minimum Sleeping Hours
New Born (0 – 2 Months) 12 – 18 Hours
Infants (3 – 11 Months) 14 – 15 Hours
Toddlers (1 – 3 Years) 12 – 14 Hours
Preschoolers (3 – 5 Years) 11 – 13 Hours
Children (5 – 10 Years) 10 – 11 Hours
Teens (10 – 17 Years) 8.5 – 9.25 Hours
Adults 7 – 9 Hours
Minimum hours of sleep vs individual’s age

This table is prepared based on the studies carried out by National sleep foundation and it is recommended by most of the doctors. So, if you are able to meet these recommended sleeping hours, then ultimately you can get rid of the sleep-deprivation and its consequences.

Unfortunately, if you are not able to meet the minimum number of sleeping hours any of the nights, you may be irritated the next day – and you can’t concentrate on your work. Nevertheless, there are a numerous benefits of having adequate sleep, appended below are some of them.

Health benefits of having enough sleep

  • Your focus on your work will increase;
  • Sufficient sleep helps in boosting your brain power or memory, so that, you will have the capacity to make better decisions;
  • It reduces the risk of stress and depression;
  • Helps you lose weight;
  • You will be less likely to get illness;
  • You can live longer etc.

This is all about sleep-deprivation, its consequences and benefits. So, if you are the person with sleep-deprivation, this article would help you a lot.

A medical advice before you start anything would be advisable, if you have major effects of sleep-deprivation.


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