If you don’t get enough sleep at night, you will most definitely feel groggy the next day. Exaggerated yawns and tired eyes are just the beginning of negative effects of sleep deprivation. Over time, much worse things can happen if you continually get less than a solid 8 hours. For example, a sleep deprived person may have serious emotional problems.
There is not set formula for how many hours of missed sleep makes you sleep deprived. Everyone will feel the effects of insomnia in different ways. But, if a person doesn’t feel alert and awake in the morning, they are considered deprive of sleep. Not only can sleep deprivation lead to emotional problems but an array of physical problems as well. Interestingly, the effects take such a toll that is considered unethical to force deprivation on another individual. For this reason, when studies on sleep deprivation are done the subjects are very closely monitored in a medically safe environment. Studies like this are important, however, because it helps researchers understand how vital sleep is for mental and physical health.
In the beginning, the effects of sleep deprivation are on the smaller scale. Although, it’s obvious that when you’re tired your brain just doesn’t seem to work as well. Even the smallest amount of sleep deprivation can influence cognitive and emotional function. Usually, the effects of sleep deprivation are first seen as being unable to show positive emotion on your face. In addition, sleep deprived people will also have a hard time recognizing other people as happy too. In fact, to them, a happy person may look like they have a neutral expression. Most of the time, a neutral expression can be interpreted as negative. So sleep deprivation can really skew reality. Plus, someone who is deprived of sleep may have a hard time dealing with disappointment.
Another result of sleep deprivation is what’s called microsleeps. These are essentially little sleep sessions and can last up to 30 seconds. When someone falls into a microsleep they might even still have their eyes open. The scary thing about microsleeps is the person is basically blind, and unable to process information. This can be incredibly dangerous, especially if you’re operating heavy machinery or driving.
A lot of people say that after a sleepless night they feel a little loopy. When it comes to really extreme cases, people can even experience delirium. But actual delirium is when a person becomes totally and completely disoriented. In the ICU of hospitals, some patients get what is called ICU delirium. This occurs because there are lights and sounds that continue all day and night. Some doctors even believe that the worst thing you could do for someone who is sleep deprived is put them in a hospital. It’s actually very common for many patients to develop insomnia.
Lastly, another side effect of chronic sleep deprivation is seeing things or hallucinations. Whether or not true hallucinations happen as a result of being sleep deprived is still an unanswered question. Although, your mind can definitely play tricks on you which can be scary.
Hit the Snooze Button
If all of these effects of sleep deprivation doesn’t make you want to immediately take a nap, maybe some positives will. Those that get a full 8 hours a night can look forward to increased mental clarity. Plus, a good amount of sleep can help you learn new things easier and improves memory retention. A lot of people would agree, being fully rested helps you live a more enjoyable life. Sleep is good for the brain, but also the body. Athletes who are well rested perform much better, and those hoping to lose weight have more success.