What are the effects of lack of sleep

What happens to your body when you don't get enough sleep?

Lack of SleepLack of sleep has a cascade effect that impacts all organs and systems of the body, including the brain. Short-term issues like lack of alertness, impaired memory and judgment, and loss of motor control set in within 24 hours since your last restful sleep.

What are the long term effects of lack of sleep?

Chronic lack of sleep is associated with an elevated risk of diabetes and cardiovascular issues like hypertension, stroke, heart attack, and heart failure. It can also contribute to systemic issues like obesity and mood disorders such as depression.

What does lack of sleep do to your brain?

The brain uses sleep to dispose of waste chemicals that accumulate and impair its function. Reduced brain cell activity has been measured in study participants, leading to visual and memory lapses. The formation of long-term memories is also hindered.

How do I know if I'm getting enough sleep?

Most adults should aim for 8-9 hours of sleep nightly. Be wary of workplace advice that suggests “some people” can “get by” on four, five, or six hours of sleep. While variance in sleep need does occur due to age and genetic factors, everyone needs regular, restful sleep. Daytime sleepiness and reduced mental performance are early signs you may not be sleeping enough.

How do you fix sleep deprivation?

Sleep deprivation can only be counteracted by a sufficient quantity of restful sleep. It is vital to get to the root of your lack of sleep so you avoid sleep deprivation in the future. For most people, “extra” sleep on the weekend will not reverse the hormonal and neurological effects of sleep deprivation. It typically takes 4-5 nights of complete sleep to achieve this.

Is staying awake for 24 hours bad?

While tiredness is generally felt after 16-18 hours awake, 24 hours is the gateway to sleep deprivation. Staying awake this long just once places physiological strain on the brain and body. While the effects may be relatively minor compared to long-term sleep disruption, they are likely to be felt throughout the next day, even if normal sleep resumes immediately.

What happens to your brain when you don't sleep for 24 hours?

Lack of sleep for even 24 hours impedes communication between the brain’s neurons, which makes virtually all tasks harder. What’s more, sleep serves as a way to reset the brain on a metabolic level. New neurological connections grow and waste is removed. All this slows or stops after lack of sleep.

What are the physical symptoms of lack of sleep?

Key physical signs of lack of sleep include impaired motor control and balance, which may cause difficulty standing, walking, or speaking. People with sleep deprivation may experience headaches, sore eyes, depressed breathing, and changes in heart rate.

How dangerous is sleep deprivation?

Sleep deprivation is very dangerous. A single, short-term episode of sleep deprivation may not have long-lasting effects, but even this vastly increases a person’s odds of suffering a serious accident. Over a longer period of time, sleep deprivation is associated with major risk of chronic illness.

Can you reverse brain damage from sleep deprivation?

In general, brain damage from any source is irreversible. That includes damage from lack of sleep, chronic conditions, and trauma. However, the human brain is resilient. When damage occurs, other brain regions can gradually take on the functions of the damaged regions. However, you must protect yourself from the source of the damage before this can happen.

For personalized advice, contact Sleep & Neuroscience Associates.

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At this time, Sleep and Neuroscience Associates (SNA) will remain open to continue to provide a high level of service to our patients and the community.

We are, however, asking patients and staff to adhere to the CDC guidelines which are aimed at protecting the general public from community transmission of COVID-19. By the nature of sleep medicine practice, fortunately our patients are not acutely ill and therefore are less likely to be exposed to COVID-19 at SNA than they would be at other healthcare facilities.

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Thank you,
Dr Samit Malhotra.

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