What Are the Stages of Sleep Deprivation

Sleep deprivation is becoming epidemic to many places like the U.S. It doesn’t matter whether you’re employed or unemployed, what age you are or what your profession is, you can be affected by insomnia. Sleep deprivation can have serious consequences in regards to our health.

We may know some people who love to sleep. Sometimes it can be obvious when we clearly haven’t had enough sleep the night before. You can also notice one of these signs the next day when you are distracted during work, drowsy during the day and have bags under your eyes. Remember that sleep is the most important part of the day because it is the time to restore all the energy we use for the day.

In the following article, we will detail the different stages of sleep deprivation.

Causes and Symptoms – Importance of Sleep

Sleep is the time of the day where we recharge and replenish our body with the energy we lost during the previous day. Sleep is an essential part of a healthy lifestyle, for healing and for general well-being.

According to a survey in the United States, most of the reported traffic accidents involved a sleepy driver. In that case, you can already tell how sleep deprivation can control your life. Some of its symptoms are fatigue, irritability, yawning, mood swings, unfocused mind, weak memory, and thinking skills, fuzzy head, clumsiness, and extreme hunger. So, if these symptoms seem familiar to you, then it may be time to take action and seek out help.

There can be some underlying causes of insomnia or it could be lack of self-care. It can be due to some daytime activities that someone might engage in during the bedtime like watching videos, reading, paper works, projects and drinking caffeine a few hours before bedtime; or while doing after hours work.

To fully understand sleep deprivation, you have to understand the two major sleep cycles, Non-REM, and REM sleep. Rapid eye movement or REM sleep stands for your eye movement that quickly changes and focus in different directions even your eyes are closed.

Also, it is the time when dreams occur. Next is, the NREM sleep which has 3 specific stages. First, is the cycle where you can be easily awakened by minimal sounds. Next is the light sleep, where your body temperature decreases. Lastly, the deep sleep or paradoxical sleep stage.

Now that you already know all the things regarding the periods of sleep, you can begin to understand the stages of sleep deprivation:

First Stage: 24 Hours Wide Awake
It is considered as the earliest stage of sleep deprivation where you experience having not enough sleep or not even fall asleep for the whole day. The waves in your brain become slow which results in failure of some cognitive skills like memory, decision making, and coordination.

Second Stage: 36 Hours
If you are still not getting enough sleep for the past 36 hours, then your health is now at risk. In this stage, physical fitness is not the only affected aspect, but also your emotional state. You might experience symptoms related to heart conditions.

Third Stage: 48 Hours
48 hours of not having enough sleep or not sleeping at all are equivalent to two consecutive days of tossing and turning. In this stage, microsleeps and disorientation might happen. It is when a person is unconsciously falling asleep in the middle of any daytime activities that may cause accidents. Disorientation will also occur.

Fourth and Last Stage: 72 Hours
Having no sleep within 3 following days or within 72 hours is considered the most complicated stage of sleep deprivation. In this stage, a severe failure of cognitive skills like perception, concentration, analyzing, and other mental issues will occur. Some reported cases claimed that hallucinations and delusions with impaired communication skills will also take place.

Thus, there are some strategies for you to cope with sleep deprivation. Some of these include making your bedroom more sleep-friendly place, having a healthy and balanced diet, and get some help from other people around you. In that case, you may now find your “me-time” and spend sleeping for about 7 to 9 hours for the whole night.

Always keep in mind that being a hard working individual does not mean we should sacrifice sleep. It is the reward that our body should get after all the hard works that we did for the entire day. Give your body a healthy rest, and you will definitely benefit from it.

Ethan Zohn Campaign

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