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By: Lauri Leadley, CCSH, RPSGT- Clinical Sleep Educator|Sleep Coach

Lauri Leadley, Clinical Sleep Educator, President of Valley Sleep Center

I know what it’s like to not be able to sleep. It wears down your body and your mind. You can feel so exhausted that you may feel like a walking zombie. Many people ask me, “Can I die from sleep deprivation?”

Well, the good news is that there is no documented evidence that anyone has ever died from sleep deprivation itself. However, multiple studies show that lack of sleep over a period of time can lead to a number of physical and mental health risks which can be potentially fatal.

What is Sleep Deprivation?

It is important to understand what sleep deprivation is before considering the kind of health risks it presents.

On average, most human beings require 7 to 9 hours of sleep every day. The sleep needs are higher among children and teenagers. If for any reason you don’t or are unable to meet your sleep needs, over time it can lead to sleep deprivation.

Sleep disorders such insomnia or sleep apnea impact your sleep requirement – without effective treatment both conditions can cause sleep deprivation.

Related Article – Why Do I Wake Up Tired? 5 Reasons You Can Get Enough Sleep and Still Be Sleepy

The Dangers of Sleep Deprivation

Lack of sleep or disrupted sleep could be caused by a sleeping disorder or an existing health condition which over time will lead to sleep deprivation.

Sleep deprivation can lead to excessive daytime sleepiness and a state of mental and physical fatigue – the brain’s ability to focus and stay productive drops.

In such a state, the body will find it challenging to perform day-to-day tasks such as driving or carrying on a physical task or activity – the risk of accidents goes up substantially when your brain and body performance and coordination is impacted.

High-Risk Health Conditions Linked with Sleep Deprivation

Sleep deprivation affects your mental and physical health in multiple ways as mentioned above. Studies show that your risk for a heart attack goes up if you clock less than five hours a night.

If you work in shifts or if you are a night owl, and your sleep is not aligned with your circadian rhythm, you will end up sleeping fewer hours. This will increase your risk of heart disease.

Related Article – The Ideal Sleep Routine For Every Type Of Person

Sleeping fewer hours also impacts your hormones levels which control several critical body functions, including metabolism. Because of fatigue and low energy levels, people who suffer from sleep deprivation often consume high-calorie foods.

The problem, however, is that consuming high-calorie foods becomes habitual as you are constantly fighting fatigue.

Sugar and calorie-heavy foods can cause weight gain. Add to that poor eating habits and you increase your risk for type two diabetes.

Sleep Well and Stay Healthy

The health risks presented by sleep deprivation are very serious. The good news, however, is that you can easily reduce and even prevent the level of risk for each of these health conditions by eating healthy, regularly exercising, and maintaining good sleep hygiene.

If you suffer from sleep deprivation, or if you suffer from a different kind of sleep disorder, don’t ignore or put off seeking treatment. Consult with a professional sleep coach without delay, so you can start sleeping better.

Valley Sleep Center – We Can Help You Sleep Better!

Do you or anyone close to you suffer from sleep deprivation? Or do you suffer from another form of sleep disorder? If yes, then you need help.

Contact us at Valley Sleep Center for accurate analysis and treatment option for your sleep disorder.

To consult with professional sleep coach Lauri Leadley, please email us at sleep@valleysleepcenter.com.