After 48 hours of no sleep, the oxygen intake is reduced and anaerobic power is impaired. Coordination is also affected, and the person is likely to start forgetting words.
After 72 hours without sleep, heart rate and emotional agitation increase and the chances of falling asleep during the day increase the risk of having an accident.
Hallucinations and sleep deprivation psychosis are also likely to occur, making you unable to interpret reality. Studies suggest that psychosis might set in after as little as 24 hours without sleep, mimicking symptoms in those with schizophrenia.
The Many Health Hazards of Sleep Deprivation
Sleep deprivation has varied harmful effects on the health because the circadian system “drives” the rhythms of biological activity at the cellular level. Here are some of the health issues associated with sleep deprivation:
1. Sleep deprivation contributes to a pre-diabetic state, making you feel hungry at all times
2. It makes you more susceptible to stomach ulcers
3. It worsens constipation
4. It worsens behavioral difficulties in children
5. Promotes or worsens chronic disease like kidney disease, multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer`s, Parkinson`s, cancer, and gastrointestinal tract disorders
6. It has been scientifically shown that when people reduce sleep from 7.5 to 605 hours a night, there were notable increases in the genes associated with diabetes, cancer risk and inflammation
7. A study has shown that lack of sleep is the strongest predictor for pain in people over 50
8. Sleep deprivation increases the risk of depression. In one study, 87% of the depressed patients who cured their insomnia had improvements in their symptoms
9. Increases your risk of dying from any cause
10. Sleep deprivation contributes to premature aging by affecting the production of growth hormone, released by the pituitary gland during sleep
11. It raises blood pressure levels and increases the risk of heart disease
12. It increases levels of corticosterone (a stress hormone), which results in fewer new brain cells being created in your hippocampus
Tips to Improve Your Sleep Habits
If you are even slightly sleep deprived, it is recommended to try out these tips to improve your sleep habits.
- Optimize light exposure during the day and minimize light exposure after sunset
- Avoid alcohol, caffeine and other drugs, all of which cause anxiety, interfere with sleep and make it more fragmented and less restorative.
- Use a fitness tracker to help you get to bed on time
- Develop a relaxing pre-sleep routine. This is as important as going to bed and getting up at the same time every day.
- Be mindful of electromagnetic fields (EMFs) in your bedroom (keep wireless router off)
- Avoid watching TV or using electronics in the evening, at least an hour before going to bed
- Keep the temperature in your bedroom below 70 degrees Fahrenheit. It has been scientifically shown that the ideal room temperature for sleep is between 60 and 68 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Take a hot bath 90 to 120 minutes before bedtime ( this will increase your core body temperature and signal your body that you are ready for sleep)