Just how dangerous is excessive sleep deprivation and how many people suffer from it?
Well the answer to the first question is it is extremely dangerous and the answer to the second question is that more people than you would think suffer from sleep deprivation.
Now the common perception on sleep deprivation is that it is usually caused because you’re under the stress etc or it is because the older we get the less sleep we actually need etc.
Now by and large these two facts are true but they only just scrape the surface of what sleep deprivation is all about.
It is about a whole lot more. The ramifications can be extremely serious if not deadly. If you are not getting enough sleep it is a problem that you have to sort out and resolve before it resolves you permanently if you know what I mean?
So how much sleep is enough? Most adults need between seven to eight hours sleep at night. People who get this amount of sleep are well rested and will not have the urge to cat nap at various points during the day.
Now I know there are those out there who will argue quite strongly that they can get away with 4-5 hours sleep and yes there were legendary stories of a particular well-known British Prime Minister who could get away with three to four hours sleep but to be brutally honest these are the exceptions rather than the norm.
So in general what causes sleep deprivation?
Well actually, one of the most common causes of sleep deprivation is actually that you don’t allow enough time to get any sleep. Bizarre as this might sound it is a side effect of our increasingly stressful day to day lives that we don’t actually allow our self the proper amounts of time to get to sleep.
Other common courses of sleep deprivation range from excessive worry, depression, repeated awakenings as a result of excessive noise etc. Others include working at night, working late shifts or if we travel excessively across time zones (sometimes called jet lag) and mostly sleep deprivation could be caused by a number of medical illnesses with the medical reasons for basic lack of sleep through excessive pain or inability to breathe.
So what is the prognosis of all of this and what are the consequences of sleep deprivation?
Well for starters there are increased numbers of motor vehicle accidents and accidents at work and then also decreased productivity whether that is at work, studying at home or a number of things. A side effect of all of this is that if the sleep deprivation becomes a chronic problem it can cause difficulties within our social relationships with our families and loved ones and work colleagues. If this is not resolved successfully or dealt with properly it causes a downward spiral.
So what is the bottom line to all of this? If you have problems sleeping you need to get it sorted and one of the most common ways of making sure that you at least have the chance of getting a good nights sleep is make sure that you have good mattress to sleep on. This is obvious I know but you would be surprised how many people suffer from not having a good enough bed or mattress to sleep on at night.