Sleep Deprivation: Definition, Causes & Effects on Your Body

Sleep deprivation is a common problem for people in the United States. A health survey conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states that about 7-19% of adults in the U.S. do not get enough sleep on a daily basis, and between 50 and 70 million Americans have chronic sleep disorders.

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What is Sleep Deprivation?

Sleep deprivation occurs when you don’t get enough sleep based on the ideal number of sleeping hours for your age. Aside from daytime sleepiness, it may also result to poor concentration, slow reflexes and irritability. On average, adults need about seven to eight hours of sleep per day to stay on top of their health and feel energized. Sleep deprivation is closely related to several health conditions, including depression, diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, kidney problems, obesity and stroke.

What are the Common Causes of Sleep Deprivation?

According to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, there are four main causes of sleep deprivation.

1. Health conditions

Sleep deprivation may be a symptom of a chronic disease or a sleep disorder. One example could be obstructive sleep apnea, a condition wherein people experience a significant decrease in airflow or breathing difficulties during sleep.

If you are suffering from this sleep disorder, your doctor might advise you to undergo a CPAP therapy. Here at CleanFlash®, we offer a CPAP cleaner that you may use to keep your CPAP machine at its best and also prevent potential health risks that germs, bacteria, dust and other particles may cause.

2. Shifting work schedule

People who work at night time or in different work shifts, such as nurses, casino dealers, bartenders, babysitters, security guards and freelance writers, may disrupt their sleeping habits and eventually experience sleep deprivation. 

3. Voluntary behavior

Some people who voluntarily, but unintentionally, deprive themselves of sleep have a sleep disorder called behaviorally induced insufficient sleep syndrome. This is a kind of hypersomnia which involves a pattern of having limited amount of sleep almost every day for at least three months. 

4. Personal obligations

Personal obligations, such as taking care of a newborn, waiting for your spouse to come home or providing care for a family member with a chronic disease, may also cause sleep deprivation.

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What are the Effects of Sleep Deprivation on Your Body?

Do you struggle with sleep deficiency? Be sure to speak to your doctor for treatment and prevent the following negative effects of sleep deprivation on your body.

1. You may experience respiratory problems.

The quality of your sleep is linked to the heath of your respiratory system. Sleep deprivation can exacerbate pre-existing respiratory conditions such as pneumonia. As mentioned earlier, the sleep and breathing disorder obstructive sleep apnea can also mess with your sleeping hours and make you more vulnerable to other health conditions.

If you are using a CPAP machine to treat a sleep disorder, please feel free to check out our lightweight and efficient CPAP cleaner for your safety and for proper maintenance of your machine.

2. You find it difficult to concentrate or learn new things.

Sleep deprivation also affects our brain function. It leaves your brain exhausted and disrupts your ability to send and process information. Aside from making it harder for you to focus and learn new things, it may also slow down your coordination and reflexes, and increase your risk for accidents.

3. Recovering from illness may take longer.

Sleep helps strengthen our immune system and our body’s ability to fight diseases. If you don’t get enough sleep on a regular basis, your body may find it hard to recover from a tiring day as well as from an illness. It may also make you more prone to chronic conditions such as heart disease and diabetes.

4. It may increase your appetite.

Sleep directly affects the hormones that control our feelings of hunger and fullness called leptin and ghrelin. Lack of sleep reduces leptin, the hormone that says you’ve had enough to eat, and increases ghrelin, the hormone that says you need to eat more. Sleep deprivation may also lower your energy levels which may send signals that you’re too tired to squeeze in a workout.

5. It may adversely affect your heart and blood vessels.

People who struggle with sleep deprivation are more likely to experience stroke, heart attack and other cardiovascular diseases as your blood pressure, blood sugar and inflammation levels are directly affected by the quality of your sleep. 

6. Your body may struggle in building muscle mass and repairing cells.

You might have heard that your muscles grow during sleep. And yes, it’s true. That’s because the production of your testosterone and growth hormones is dependent on your sleep. These hormones are responsible for helping your body build muscles and repair cells and tissues, so when you don’t get enough sleep, you also don’t produce enough of these hormones.

How to Treat Sleep Deprivation

Trying out natural ways to improve your sleep is the first level of treating sleep deprivation. These include going to bed early, trying to keep a sleeping schedule, meditation, avoiding heavy meals before bedtime, limiting caffeine intake, not smoking, exercising, and keeping your bedroom dark and quiet. If these don’t work for you after several attempts, it would be best to speak with a doctor to discuss other treatment options.


Final Thoughts

In case your sleep deprivation is caused by obstructive sleep apnea and are advised to use a CPAP machine for treatment, we offer an FDA-registered CPAP cleaner that is easy to use, safe and effective in taking care of your CPAP equipment. Our CPAP sanitizer comes with a two-warranty, does not use harmful chemicals and uses both ozone and UV light for more efficient cleaning.

To learn more about the product we offer, please see our frequently asked questions. Meanwhile, if you’re all set to order our CPAP machine cleaner, just click the button below and you’ll be redirected to our safe online payment process.


National Heart, Lung & Blood Institute
American Academy of Sleep Medicine

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