Proper sleep is one of the most important things for maintaining physical and mental health. After all, sleep is when your body rests and repairs itself after a long day while the brain processes information and consolidates memories. Most people need seven to eight hours of sleep per night to function properly.
However, not everyone gets the recommended amount of sleep each night. Many people suffer from some form of sleep deprivation, which can significantly affect their health, productivity and even well-being.
To help you better understand this condition, below, you will 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. This can be caused by a variety of factors, including poor sleeping habits, medical conditions, work schedules, stress, and even some medications.
While some people may 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 lack of sleep?
The best way to overcome sleep deprivation is to get more rest. This may sound like an obvious solution, but it’s often easier said than done. If you have trouble sleeping at night, there are 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 comfortable sleep routine. Avoid working in bed or using electronic devices. Instead, try reading or taking a bath before bed.
- Keep your bedroom dark, quiet and cool. Make sure that no bright lights or sounds disturb your sleep.
- Exercise regularly. Physical activity can help improve the quality of your sleep. Just make sure to avoid exercising too close to bedtime.
If you still have trouble sleeping, you may want to talk to your doctor about other treatment options. As mentioned above, in some cases, lack of sleep can be caused by an underlying medical condition, such as sleep apnea or restless legs syndrome. This means that treating this condition can help improve the quality of your sleep.
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 don’t sleep for 24 hours, you may start to feel drowsy and have trouble focusing. You may experience mood swings and irritability. Your reflexes will also be slower, making driving or operating machinery much more dangerous.
2. Stay 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 be impaired. You may experience difficulty understanding social cues and controlling your emotions.
3. 48 hours without sleep
During this time, your body will begin to experience physical and mental changes. You can 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. No sleep for 72 hours
If you still haven’t slept after 72 hours, any confusion or hallucinations you experience will become more intense. You may start to feel paranoid and have trouble thinking rationally.
At this point, microslips will become more frequent. Microsleeps are short periods of sleep that can last from a few seconds to a few minutes. They can happen without you realizing it, which can be extremely dangerous if you’re doing something that requires concentration or coordination, such as driving.
5. Stay awake for 96 hours
After 96 hours without sleep, you will begin to experience serious changes. You may be tempted and have trouble separating reality from fantasy. At this point, your body desperately needs sleep, and you may even fall asleep without money.
Sleep deprivation may also develop. Delusions, hallucinations, and paranoia characterize sleep deprivation psychosis. This can be extremely dangerous and even lead to self-harm or violence.
Fortunately, sleep deprivation psychosis usually passes once you fall asleep. However, if you start experiencing these symptoms, it is important to seek medical help.
Lack of sleep is a serious condition that can significantly affect your health, productivity and well-being, no matter what stage you are at. If you have 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, there are a few things you can do 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 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 levels of sleep deprivation and ways to deal with it!