Tuesday, March 23rd, 2010

Six Signs of Sleep Deprivation

sleep deprived 1Sleep deficit built up over just five nights can stress your heart! For long scientists have been speaking about the restorative effects of sleep and the negative effects on your health when you skimp on it. But the study by researchers at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine has found that a sleep deficit built up over just five nights can significantly stress the heart. Sounds scary! Doctors add that of late more and more number of young people are coming with sleep deficit and change in lifestyle is to share the blame for it.

Sometimes knowingly and more often unknowingly we sacrifice our sleep hours to accomplish more tasks during the day. It’s not that our body doesn’t protest when we deprive it of sleep but more often we choose to ignore those subtle signs. Dr Manjari Tripathi, associate professor, Neurology with AIIMS says, Sleep is nature’s way of rewarding you with a spa facility every night.  It fulfills vital cognitive, emotional, metabolic and hormonal balances of life.”

Deprived of sleep

1. Weight gain—sometimes you do everything right. You keep a check on your errant tongue and exercise too. Yet, your dresses become a bit snug and you just don’t know what to do? And the reason is sleep deficit. When you do not sleep well, you look for sugar surge to perk you up.

2. Blood pressure—High blood pressure and lack of sleep are intimately linked. “Middle-aged people who sleep no more than five hours a night may be at increased risk for high blood pressure,” says a US study of about 4800 people aged 32 to 59 who were tracked for eight to 10 years. A sound sleep of eight hours is an essential factor to rein in high blood pressure.

3. Cranky for no reason—some days you feel that you have woken up on the wrong side of the bed. Those are the days when you have tossed and turned in the bed, as a result you didn’t benefit from the restorative effects of sleep.

4. Forgetfulness. If you have been placing your car keys in the refrigerator or forgetting little details, like what you had for breakfast yesterday, it means that your mind is not rested enough and you have been skimping on sleep. Sleep deprivation can make people clumsy. Lack of sleep affects our cognitive thinking process. Sleep deprived brain is not rested enough to register and recall details at the fraction of a second. “Works which require good reflexes, like flying a plane, or driving an automobile can not be done in case of sleep deficit,” cautions Dr Verinder Anand, Internal Consultant with Moolchand.

5. Catching colds. It’s very hard to draw a correlation. What sleep got to do with it? Plenty. When you don’t sleep well your immunity nosedives as a result you catch cold more often.

6. Tired all the time.  “Lack of sleep affects our health.  If our sleep is not complete, we will feel tired very easily which in turn can cause low efficiency to do normal office work and other households,” says Dr Anand.

Sleep and its restorative properties is still under scientific scrutiny. But, a consensus has emerged that sleep helps you rejuvenate and restore your energy.  “When you don’t sleep well you are at greater risk of developing high blood pressure, obesity, diabetes, stroke and dementia,” cautions Dr Tripathi. Stop sacrificing on your sleep for anything important or trivial because a good night rest means that you are refreshed in the morning and  you can put the remain 16 hours to good use. Go ahead and get your eight hours of shut eye.


Archana Darshan

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Category: Sleep Well
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