Sleep Deprivation

Sleep Deprivation

Many adults are often concerned that their inability to sleep will affect their daily lives, jeopardize work accomplishments, and affect their overall health. These concerns are often legitimate and can lead to certain health conditions.

Insomnia is defined by difficulty getting to sleep, unable to maintain sleep or waking frequently at night, tending to wake up too early and are unable to go back to sleep, and sleep is nonrestorative or of poor quality sleep. One may wake feeling more tired than when going to bed. The effects of sleep according to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine include, fatigue, moodiness, irritability, daytime sleepiness, sleep anxiety, lack of concentration, poor memory and/or quality of work or school performance, lack of motivation, headaches, and upset stomach.

These symptoms are caused by various biological, psychological and social factors. Biological sleep factors involve pain and neurological disruption in sleep wake messages in the brain. This type of disruption can be caused by noise or light disturbances. Some biological factors may include depression. Psychological sleep disturbances usually are due to not being able to disconnect your thoughts of work, family, or something exciting you are preparing for such as a work presentation or vacation planning. Think of this as a kid trying to get to sleep before Christmas morning. Lastly, social factors contribute to both biological and psychological aspects. Social events that involve long hours of driving or cause added stress to your normal routine. Often food and alcohol consumption from social events can contribute to biological disruptions.

Risk factors include middle-aged and older adults, physical problems that lead to pain will often disrupt sleeping comfortably, poor sleep hygiene, women, people with mental or psychiatric illness, and certain medications are known to cause insomnia as a side-effect. Treatments include cognitive behavioral therapy, over-the-counter medications, prescription sleeping medications, and natural sleep aid alternatives.

See the attached article for more prevention and treatment details for sleep deprivation. Insomnia

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