Sleep deprivation occurs when an individual receives an insufficient amount of sleep, typically less than seven to eight hours per night. Patients might experience acute sleep deprivation, in which they fail to obtain sufficient sleep for a few nights, and this could escalate to chronic sleep deprivation that continues for weeks, months, or years. Sleep deprivation reduces an individual's alertness, reaction time, and attention span, and it is associated with impaired judgment, an increase in risk-taking behavior, as well as an elevated risk for depression, anxiety, and suicidal thoughts. Signs of sleep deprivation generally include fatigue, yawning, poor concentration, moodiness, and forgetfulness. In addition to mental health considerations, sleep deprivation can increase a person's risk for physical health conditions such as type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, obesity, heart disease, stroke, and kidney disease. Patients who are struggling with sleep issues may be asked to undergo a sleep study.
Implement And Maintain Healthy Sleep Habits
Patients who implement and maintain healthy sleep habits may be able to prevent sleep deprivation, and restoring a healthy sleep routine could even treat acute sleep deprivation. Experts recommend that patients go to bed and wake up at the same time each day, including Saturdays and Sundays. During the sixty minutes before bedtime, it is especially important to turn off computers, televisions, and mobile phones. Reading a book, taking a hot bath, and practicing meditation during this hour can all promote a smooth transition to sleep. Patients should not watch television or have screen time in their bedrooms, and they should avoid checking their phones in the middle of the night. Choosing a comfortable mattress and pillows is beneficial, and keeping the bedroom dark and cool will help as well. Blackout curtains can help enhance the darkness of a room if necessary.