As we all know, and most probably experienced, lack of sleep or sleep deprivation thereof gives us having a wobbly morning in addition to blurry eyes and regular yawns. Because (on a sarcastic tone), apparently our body needs to rest. Well, if Sims needs to rest after a long day of work or whatever they do on those games, our body needs to take quality sleep. There are seemingly side effects if we don’t get enough sleep most of the time. For example, emotional problems may arise. Thus, some says, it is one way of torture.
Sleep deprived anyhow is not defined clearly. But according to researchers, you may be considered as sleep-deprived if you weren’t able to get enough sleep to make you alert and awake. It is not exactly stated how many hours of sleep and rest you should have to be able to consider you as “sleep-deprived”.
Despite that, researchers found that not getting enough sleep results to physical and psychological damage to a person. It is said to be unethical to forcefully deprive someone of sleep because the damage is so apparent. There are studies also involves healthy volunteers monitored inside a medically safe environment. Researchers say that it is important for us to know the basics of sleep, sleep deprivation and its effects on both emotional and physical aspect.
Sleep deprivation affects your brain function. It doesn’t work well given it was not able to have the rest it deserve. Even a slight deprivation the body gets, there will be a negative influence towards your emotional and cognitive function. You may also observe change on how you react on positive things. Positive things should get positive expression but instead, sleep deprived person gives you a neutral look. Even if they are happy they will be interpreted as being sad or disappointed. A sleep-deprived brain is not capable of detecting positive emotion as much as a well-rested brain does.
“Micro-sleeps” refers to the phenomenon the day after a person gets only a little amount of time during night. The person experiences mini-snooze moments during day time which lasts for only 30 seconds tops. You may also experience having the snooze moments even with your eyes open. Although, during that time, you are completely blind even with eyes wide open.
Studies shows that because your body and brain weren’t able to get enough rest or sleep, it shuts off uncontrollable and rapidly. The brain goes into a state or rest. You may awake yourself forcefully but if you are behind your wheel, eventually, your body will get into another episode of micro-sleep. This condition is deemed dangerous to someone’s health and safety.
A night without sleep makes us somewhat like half-baked. But in the extremes, it may result to delirium. Delirium is when you become disoriented completely. Sleep is a great factor. In fact, there are studies that show that patients in the hospital (especially those admitted in the Intensive Care Unit) develop a condition called ICU delirium. It is said to be a result of lack of sleep due to the continued light and sounds in the hospital. Although it is unclear, it is common for hospitalized patients develop insomnia. And the ironic part is what you can do to those experiencing those problems—send them to the hospital?
What is worse than delirium? Maybe you were thinking that delirium is the worst thing that could ever happen to you if you get to lack of sleep. Well, hallucination exists. It is defined as seeing things that are not actually there. This could be the worst side effect of sleep deprivation.
Although it is still a debate, a researcher’s testified that he experienced it personally when he was still a medical resident. For several months, he was sleep-deprived thus resulting to experiencing hallucinations. This is skeptical to others but chronic sleep deprivation can really result to seeing blinking or flickering lights on peripheral vision since your brain is not interpreting data correctly.
Can you die out of sleep deprivation?
Experiments involving laboratory rats’ death after total sleep deprived, some researchers says that it is unlikely for human beings. Although a Chinese man died after 11 days of no sleep, researchers don’t believe that sleep deprivation is the only reason. Alcohol, smoking and other factors may have played the role. It is really a big ethical dilemma when it comes to studying this phenomenon in human beings.