THE EFFECTS OF SLEEP DEPRIVATION
Short Term effects of sleep deprivation:
- Decreased Performance and Alertness: Sleep deprivation induces significant reduction in performance and alertness. Reducing your nighttime sleep by as little as one an a half hours for just one night could result in a reduction of daytime alertness by as much as 32%.
- Memory and Cognitive Impairment: Decreased alertness and excessive daytime sleepiness impair your memory and your cognitive ability - your ability to think and process information (imagine how this might come into play for a person who has also experienced trauma and needs to testify or give an account of their experience). See discussion on this topic by clicking here.
- Poor Quality of Life: You might, for example, be unable to participate in certain activities that require sustained attention, like going to the movies, seeing your child in a school play or watching a favourite TV show.
- Occupational Injury: Excessive sleepiness also contributes to a greater than twofold higher risk of sustaining an occupational injury.
- Automobile Injury: The National Highway Traffic Safety Adnministration (NHTSA) estimates conservatively that each year drowsy driving is responsible for at least 100,000 automobile crashes, 71 injuries, and 1,550 fatalities.
LONG TERM EFFECTS OF SLEEP DEPRIVATION AND DISORDERS ARE ASSOCIATED WITH NUMEROUS, SERIOUS MEDICAL ILLNESSES, INCLUDING:
- High Blood Pressure
- Heart Attack
- Heart Failure
- Psychiatric problems, including depression and other mood disorders
- Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD)
- Mental Impairment
- Fetal and childhood growth retardation
- Injury from accidents
- Poor Quality of Life
Studies show an increased mortality risk for those reporting less than either six or seven hours per night. One study found that reduced sleep time is a greater mortality risk than smoking, high blood pressure and heart disease.
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