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The Effects of Chronic Sleep Deprivation

by Iria Vasquez-Paez 4 years ago in health

I get enough sleep, more or less, in the present.

Chronic sleep deprivation can be very bad for your health. I should know because, until I was 20, I had that. In my adult life, I have been able to get more sleep, which has resulted in me waking up feeling well rested. Sleep loss happens when a busy person doesn’t always go to bed early. It is a bit odd to me, however, that doctors do not ask much about how you are sleeping. The consequences of sleep deprivation include car accidents or accidents with objects that an individual has to operate. Sleep deprivation can cause obesity, as well. When I was fatter than I am now, as I’m trying to lose weight, I’m convinced that I lost weight only because I was getting enough sleep.

Sleep leads to weight loss and proper weight management. Right now, I have a tendency towards midnight snacking. Sleep deprivation can cause colds, the flu, and worse, bronchitis and pneumonia to creep into your system unannounced. Sleep deprivation causes serious health problems. One cause of sleep deprivation is sleep apnea, defined as a cause of snoring heavily that results in the patient stopping breathing. They wake up in the middle of the episode sometimes. If they remain asleep, they have no idea that they have stopped breathing. Other side effects of sleep deprivation include decreased performance and alert behavior. Sleep deprived people do not have as good of a memory in school, which I attest happened to me all through school except in college, and cognition is also affected. Cognitive impairment means that your ability to process or think things through is damaged. Sleep deprivation causes harm and deep relationship stress, as well. Sleep deprivation makes a person unwilling to go out to see movies. For mentally ill people, this turns into agoraphobia, which is an inability to go outside.

Being exhausted on the job leads to work accidents, sometimes. Sleep deprivation also contributes heavily to motor vehicle accidents. Untreated sleeping problems lead to high blood pressure, heart attack, heart failure, stroke, and obesity. It increases mental illness symptoms in a person with a diagnosis of mania or depression and, in general, makes a victim feel very bad. Lack of sleep also causes growth problems in children. I spent my childhood exhausted. I didn’t get enough sleep from age 10-20. My schoolwork was affected. It all depended on me getting enough sleep to pass. It felt like I wasn’t allowed to sleep with my family.

Medication is fabulous because I get to enjoy a good night’s sleep. Not getting enough sleep may be contributing to my weight gain this year. I’m a chronic midnight snacker, I suppose. It is a bad habit I’m trying to curb. Lacking sleep as a child made me at risk for diabetes until it hit in 1991. I’m sure that, if it had been caught earlier, it wouldn’t have almost killed me. Symptoms of sleep deprivation include: excessive sleepiness, yawning, irritability, and daytime fatigue. These days I have none of those symptoms, most of the time because I try to get enough sleep by going to bed at eight instead of at 11 like I used to, or worse, nine years ago I used to go to bed at two AM since I was manic in the evenings from my eight PM hot chocolate. Insomnia can mess up your central nervous system. In high school, this messed me up with sports. On days I slept, I was on top of my game. On days I didn’t sleep, I would not know which way to run in soccer, I was off my game, and lacked coordination.

Lack of sleep makes us mentally ill people very wide open to mood swings. Sleep deprivation can cause hallucinations or, in us bipolars, trigger mania. Lack of sleep makes me impulsive, and often in a bad way. I sleep enough in the present to be less impulsive. This impulsive behavior would make me have difficulty budgeting, which would, in turn, affect my bipolar, causing me mania that would cause me to overspend. I once experienced microsleep when I fell asleep in my car one morning during junior college. I found myself entering the freeway lane, which I signaled to get out of by changing lanes to the left. Lack of sleep causes immune system problems. Sleep deprivation causes a lengthier recovery time from germs. As a germaphobe, I make sure to get enough sleep.

Sleep causes an ability to know how much you are eating. Without enough sleep, a person eats at night, which has given me a clue now as to why I snack in the middle of the night. Lack of sleep does also influence the progress of heart-related illness, and it even affects hormone production. In my adult life, I’m striving for a perfect middl- of-the-night blood sugar. I’m trying to beat my lifelong bad habit of sleep deprivation. This is what happens when you are not on meds as long as I was. My childhood was terrifying, at best. I’m glad I have meds in my adult life.


Iria Vasquez-Paez

I have a B.A. in creative writing from San Francisco State. Can people please donate? I'm very low-income. I need to start an escape the Ferengi plan.

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