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  • Sayanti Bhattacharya MD

Are you sleep deprived?

Updated: Mar 15

What is sleep deprivation?

Sleep deprivation (not getting enough sleep) is a growing problem. Adults need 7-8 hours of sleep. The CDC estimates that up to a third of American adults do not get sufficient sleep and average sleep times have decreased in the last few decades.

 

Why is it a growing problem?

Modern lifestyles with longer work hours, the need to be online and available 24x7, the availability and access to phones, computers and TV at all hours, financial pressures, and demands of raising children can lead to sleep deprivation.

 

Is sleep deprivation harmful?

Chronic sleep deprivation has been linked with many diseases including heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, obesity, depression, and anxiety. Chronic sleep deprivation increases cortisol levels, decreases testosterone levels and can increase inflammation.

 

Getting less than adequate sleep interferes with your ability to regulate your emotions, solve problems, and function well at work or school. Your executive functioning worsens. 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.

 

How to know whether you are sleep deprived?

You can feel tired and sleepy during the day, dozing off while sitting quietly, 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.

Other symptoms you may notice are poor attention and focus, memory problems and feeling down.

 

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

 

Sleep well and stay healthy. 

 

Dr. Sayanti Bhattacharya MD, MS

 

 

 

 

 

 

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