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  • Sayanti Bhattacharya MD

Are you sleep deprived?

Most adults on an average need 7-8 hours of sleep. Some people can feel just as rested with fewer hours of sleep, but they are the exception rather than the norm. Sleep deprivation (not getting enough sleep) is a growing problem. The CDC estimates that up to a third of American adults do not get sufficient sleep.

Longer work weeks, stressful jobs and family situations, financial constraints, and demands of raising children can lead to sleep deprivation. Spending a lot of time watching TV or on cell phones/tablets gets in the way of sleep as well. Not having a fixed sleep schedule contributes to this problem. Sleeping 30 minutes to an hour less than you need at night can make you sleep deprived over time.

Sleep deprivation has been linked with many chronic diseases including heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, and obesity among others. These associations have been observed in teenagers as well. Depression, anxiety and ADHD are closely related to sleep.

Getting less than adequate sleep interferes with your ability to regulate your emotions, solve problems, and function at work or school. You are likely to make more mistakes and be more irritable. Your risk of suffering physical injuries increases, as you cannot react as quickly or appropriately in certain situations.

Some signs of sleep deprivation include feeling tired and sleepy during the day, dozing off while sitting quietly on your own, or while reading or even at work. You may even fall asleep while driving or while being stuck in traffic. This in turn can have very serious consequences.

If you are struggling with sleep deprivation, pay attention to your body and get professional help. Feel free to contact me.

Sleep well and stay healthy.

Dr. Sayanti Bhattacharya MD, MS

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