FAQ - sleep deprivation
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Sleep deprivation?

Have any of you ever suffered from extreme sleep deprivation? If so tell me what it was like. What are the long term effects from not getting enough sleep? I am a college student and am just realizing that i need a lot more sleep.
hmm im more refering to going long periods of time (months) with very little sleep (4 or so hours daily). Or going days with very little sleep.

long term sleep deprivation side effects:
feeling high or drunk
tired - duh =]
unable to consentrate
bored with enjoyable activities or other things
over hungry
not hungry at all >>>>depends on who you are

try to sleep more.  (+ info)

Sleep Deprivation?

How does sleep deprivation decrease/increase weight?

From what I have read -- not witnessed -- sleep deprivation puts the body into a state of stress that causes metabolism to rise. It would decrease weight as it also makes the mind become dysfunctionally irrational.

From what I have witnessed in myself, sleep deprivation also cancels out hunger in at least some circumstances. I became so stressed out trying to keep awake that ALL I wanted was to go to sleep, and I had not eaten either dinner or breakfast!

Now, deprivation is not the same as staying awake too long, which can cause "the hungries". My sleep deprivation was mild, and it was due to a need to travel about 500 miles on an errand and then to return within a set amount of time which I just barely had time to do, and then to have to do homework for college! Not a good situation safety-wise for driving at the very least, and I miraculously caught myself waking up as I was driving on the shoulder of the road on my trip back! Good thing there were no parked cars on the side of the road!

As for sleep deprivation in captivity, such as at Guantanamo torture prison, I do not know the effects. It is hard to know those effects due to the total secrecy of our torture prisons. But I am sure it affects a lack of appetite in addition to all of the mental stress of being kept awake in captivity.

Also, as for what Pretieyez4u said, less sleep in a domicile situation may lead to more snacking and overeating, I do not buy what she says from what she researched. Sounds like some researchers were making up their own answers without asking for real questions!  (+ info)

sleep deprivation?

what occurs in the brain during sleep deprivation? Some years ago I was unable to sleep for more than a couple of hours at a time, actually due to excitement and after about a week of this I became near hallucinatory and felt depressed and horrible.

The Effects of Sleep Deprivation on Brain and Behavior
Sarah Ledoux
Sleep deprivation is a commonplace occurrence in modern culture. Every day there seems to be twice as much work and half as much time to complete it in. This results in either extended periods of wakefulness or a decrease in sleep over an extended period of time. While some people may like to believe that they can train their bodies to not require as much sleep as they once did this belief is false (1). Sleep is needed to regenerate certain parts of the body, especially the brain, so that it may continue to function optimally. After periods of extended wakefulness or reduced sleep neurons may begin to malfunction, visibly effecting a person's behavior. Some organs, such as muscles, are able to regenerate even when a person is not sleeping so long as they are resting. This could involve lying awake but relaxed within a quite environment. Even though cognitive functions might not seem necessary in this scenario the brain, especially the cerebral cortex, is not able to rest but rather remains semi-alert in a state of "quiet readiness" (2). Certain stages of sleep are needed for the regeneration of neurons within the cerebral cortex while other stages of sleep seem to be used for forming new memories and generating new synaptic connections. The effects of sleep deprivation on behavior have been tested with relation to the presence of activity in different sections of the cerebral cortex.
The temporal lobe of the cerebral cortex is associated with the processing of language. During verbal learning tests on subjects who are fully rested functional magnetic resonance imaging scans show that this area of the brain is very active. However, in sleep deprived subjects there is no activity within this region (3), (4), (5). The effects of this inactivity can be observed by the slurred speech in subjects who have gone for prolonged periods with no sleep (6).

Even severely sleep deprived people are still able to perform to some degree on a verbal learning test. This implies that some other area of the brain must become active to compensate for the loss of temporal lobe functioning. In fact, activity can be seen in the parietal lobe that is not present during verbal learning tests using rested subjects (5). Greater activity within this region corresponded to better performance by subjects in research studies (7). Still, sleep deprived people do not perform as well on these tests as do fully rested subjects (3), (4). One possible reason for the poorer performance after missing sleep, aside from unregenerated neurons, could be the fact that since the parietal lobe is not usually used to performing tasks such as these it is not as adept at carrying them out. Therefore, when control switches from the temporal lobe to the parietal lobe some speed and accuracy is naturally lost. Interestingly, sleep deprived subjects have been shown to have better short-term memory abilities than their well-rested counterparts (6). Since memory is associated with this region of the cerebral cortex the fact that it is already active in sleep deprived people could make it easier for new synapses to be created, thus forming new short-term memories more easily.

While activity is seen within the parietal lobes of rested people as they think through math problems no corresponding activity is visible within the brains of sleep-deprived subjects. Also, no new area of the brain becomes active while the sleep deprived people work on math problems. Since sleep deprived people can still complete math problems, albeit with less speed and accuracy than a well-rested individual, this data implies that a region of the brain already in use is used for this task (1).

The frontal lobe is the most fascinating section of the brain with relation to sleep deprivation. Its functions are associated with speech as well as novel and creative thinking (5). Sleep deprived test subjects have difficulties thinking of imaginative words or ideas. Instead, they tend to choose repetitious words or clichéd phrases. Also, a sleep-deprived individual is less able to deliver a statement well. The subject may show signs of slurred speech, stuttering, speaking in a monotone voice, or speaking at a slower pace than usual (6). Subjects in research studies also have a more difficult time reacting well to unpredicted rapid changes. Sleep deprived people do not have the speed or creative abilities to cope with making quick but logical decisions, nor do they have the ability to implement them well. Studies have demonstrated that a lack of sleep impairs one's ability to simultaneously focus on several different related tasks, reducing the speed as well as the efficiency of one's actions (8). A person may be able to react to a complex scenario when suddenly presented with it but, similar to the verbal tests, the subject will most likely pick an unoriginal solution. If presented with a similar situation multiple times with slight variations in the information presented the subject chooses the same solution, even though it might not be as applicable to the new senario (9).

Part of the frontal lobe, the prefrontal cortex, has several functions specifically coupled with it. Judgment, impulse control, attention, and visual association have all been related to this region of the cerebral cortex (8). A recent study has shown that the prefrontal cortex, usually the most active area of the brain in rested individuals, becomes more active as a person remains awake for long periods of time (3), (4). This region regenerates during the first stage of sleep, giving a person the ability to feel somewhat refreshed after only a short nap (5). The length of the first stage of sleep cycle is somewhat dependant upon how long the person had previously been awake. The longer the period of wakefulness, the longer the brain remains in the first stage of sleep. When the brain enters into the REM stage of sleep the prefrontal cortex is active once more.

The implications of this data seem to be fairly important in supporting the location of the I-function within the brain. The prefrontal cortex is active whenever a person is awake, no matter how little sleep they have had. Also, this area is active while dreaming. Since the individual is aware of him or herself during both of these instances, but is not aware during the stages of sleep when the prefrontal cortex is shut down, it seems logical that the I-function is located within this region. This indicates that the I-function is what is resting and regenerating during the first stage of sleep. It would be interesting to study prefrontal cortex activity while a person is conscious, but unaware of his or her actions, due to an influence such as drugs or alcohol. According to the results of the sleep deprivation studies little or no activity should be seen in the prefrontal cortex at anytime when the individual is unaware of his or herself.

One of the symptoms of prolonged sleep deprivation is hallucinations (10). This could also be related to the I-function since it is the system that integrates the input from all other areas of the brain. If the neurons composing the I-function become too taxed then the picture in the head that the I-function produces may be more dissimilar from reality than usual. The neurons, under pressure to continue functioning but unable to perform optimally, create an image useful enough for a person to see most of his or her surroundings. Metabolic activity in the prefrontal cortex can drop as much as eleven percent after a person has missed sleep for only twenty four hours (8). As a person loses more sleep or continues to receive less-than-adequate amounts of sleep the neurons become even more taxed and the I-function may begin to generate even less coherent images possibly resulting in temporary insanity.

Another piece of evidence supporting the location of the I-function is that mammals have REM sleep whereas cold-blooded animals do not and mammals have a neocortex, located within the prefrontal cortex, while cold-blooded animals do not. REM sleep stimulates areas of the brain used for learning and memory (10). When a person is taught a new skill his or her performance does not improve until he or she receives at least eight hours of sleep (11). An extended period of sleep ensures that the brain will be able to complete the full sleep cycle, including REM sleep. The necessity of sleep for learning could be due to the fact that sleep increases the production of proteins while reducing the rate at which they are broken down (10). Proteins are used to regenerate the neurons within the brain. Without them new synapses may not be able to be formed, thus limiting the amount of information a sleep-deprived individual can maintain.

One of the possible side effects of a continued lack of sleep is death. Usually this is the result of the fact that the immune system is weakened without sleep. The number of white blood cells within the body decreases, as does the activity of the remaining white blood cells. The body also decreases the amount of growth hormone produced (8). The ability of the body to metabolize sugar declines, turning sugar into fat. One study stated that people who sleep less than four hours per night are three times more likely to die within the next six years (11). Although the longest a human has remained awake was eleven days rats that are continually deprived of sleep die within two to five weeks, generally due to their severely weakened immune system (10), (11), (12).

In a way sleep deprivation studies help us to study the relationship between the brain and behavior in a very unique way by observing how a person's behavior changes as the brain shuts down. By taking images of the brain showing where activity is located it is possible to correlate the behavior exhibited by a subject with his or her brain patterns. Just like a person cannot jog for three continuous days a person's brain cannot operate without rest breaks. Since different regions of the brain rest during different stages of the sleep cycle, sleep cannot be cut short. In fact, if the brain does not receive a break it will soon begin to shut down for periods of microsleep. This is essentially several seconds of actual sleep; delta waves that interrupt the regular EEG of an awake person thereby impairing his or her continuity of cognitive function. Microsleep generally happens directly before performance failure occurs (8). Without sleep our brains deteriorate, and if the argument that brain=behavior is true, then our behavior will also suffer accordingly.  (+ info)

Sleep deprivation =|?

Oki, if any of ya'll have went through this problem and fixxed it tell meh how please.. i get like 3 or 4 hours of sleep at night tops. I either go to sleep at like 11 pm and wake up at 2-4 and cant go back to sleep, or I'm not able to go to sleep till like 3, and i have to wake up at around 6 30 to get ready for school. I've tried taking this Tylenol Pm stuff, but it either doesnt make me sleepy or it takes about 4 hours to hit me. Any tips? :D

Some people don't need as much sleep at others but if you wake up feeling tired then this may be pointing to an underlying problem.

One of the main causes of insomnia is stress.

Try relaxing before you go to bed. Turn off the TV or turn down the music. Try reading a good book or comic. Something funny is good as laughter releases stress.

Also try exercising in the mornings. It will make you more alert during the day and help you sleep at night. Just 20 mins if intense activity in the morning is enough. I used to cycle to school every morning.  (+ info)

What are some symptoms of sleep deprivation?

I've been having trouble sleeping for a very long time now and I always feel like crap because of it. I think I am sleep deprived. Can you tell me what some symptoms of sleep deprivation are?

Do you turn off your TV, PC, & other bright lights . . .
about an hour before trying to sleep?

"Glowing TV Screens Keeping Americans Up at Night" http://nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/news/fullstory_85339.html

Thinking & decision making are impaired.
Memory & recognition do not work up to par.
Stamina fades early, as does ability to focus.
Clumsiness can become noticeable . . .
plus many more problems, including physical problems . . .

Lack of sleep impairs brain function, which in turn is in charge of all the other bodily functions, so guess how long the list of symptoms is . . .

"Special Report: Shhhh...This Is Your Brain On Sleep"

"Sleep Debt—Are You a Victim?" :
- A Growing Problem
- Getting the Sleep You Need
- Recognizing Serious Sleep Disorders

"Are You Getting Enough Sleep?":
- Sleep—Luxury or Necessity
- How to Improve Your Sleep
- Sleepiness Test

"We MUST Dream"
http://watchtower.org/e/19961001/article_01.htm  (+ info)

What effect does sleep deprivation have on your reflexes?

My friend and I are doing a science fair project and we would like to know what effects sleep deprivation has on your reflexes and how we could test those effects. If you have any more information on sleep deprivation and you would tell us we would greatly appreciate it. Ten points for the anwser with the most information.Thanks in advance. :-)

Slows me down. I find that I tend to 'space out' when I'm too tired and then realize that I have to respond to some sort of stimulus or action.
VERY scary on the road; I try to make sure I get some sleep (although it's tough to do when travelling a lot for work)!

Good for you on this project. My suggestion to test would be to have one of you stay up and then try some physical tests (toss a ball at the one who stayed up - see if they can catch it easily and quickly, listen to a list of word duos and then try to repeat the other word when the first is read, etc.).

Good luck!  (+ info)

What are some alternatives to sleep deprivation?

If someone wanted to break down their mind using sleep deprivation, but didn't want to sleep deprive themself, what are some alternatives? Like what can you use to affect the mind instead of sleep deprivation?

Drugs..........  (+ info)

What are the short and long term effects of sleep deprivation?

Okay, so lately (well for quite a while) I have been experiencing sleep issues eg, not being able to sleep at all, getting one/two hours sleep at a ridiculous hour and having to do a 'routine' before being able to sleep. What I am asking is this: What are the short and long term effects of sleep deprivation? Also, if you have any extra information about sleep issues it would be great.

Thanks, a lot.

Sleep deprivation and/or exhaustion. Physical and emotional exhaustion can induce hallucinations by blurring the line between sleep and wakefulness.

A person who loses one night’s sleep will generally be irritable and clumsy during the next day and will either become tired easily or speed up because of adrenalin. After missing two night’s sleep, a person will have problems concentrating and will begin to make mistakes on normal tasks. Three missed nights and a person will start to hallucinate and lose grasp of reality. Someone who gets just a few hours of sleep each night occurs a large “sleep debt” and can begin to experience many of the same problems over time. A 1997 study found that people whose sleep was restricted to four to five hours per night for one week needed two full nights of sleep to recover performance, alertness and normal mood.

Other short-term consequences include:

* Decreased daytime alertness. Loss of just one and half hours sleep can result in a 32% reduction in daytime alertness.
* Impaired memory and cognitive ability, the ability to think and process information.
* More than double the risk of sustaining an occupational injury.
* Impaired immune system.

Long-term consequences can include the following:

* High blood pressure
* Heart attack
* Heart failure
* Stroke
* Psychiatric problems such as depression and other mood disorders
* Mental impairment
* Increased mortality risk
* Relationship problems with a bed partner
* Obesity - (The link between obesity and sleep is an interesting one as lack of sleep can cause weight gain by increasing hunger and affecting metabolism, and extra weight can cause sleep disorders such as apnea which cause sleep deprivation.)
  (+ info)

How does sleep deprivation effect the immune system?

In the many recent nights of schooling, I have found my self pulling about 3 all nighters a week, and I now have a cold. I read an article online talking about how sleep deprivation weakens the immune system, but I can't understand how?

Our bodies do all sort of amazing things while we sleep, and many biological systems are repaired and strengthened - that includes the immune system where disease fighting cells are manufactured during sleep.

You can find out everything you want to know about the benefits of sleep here http://www.better-sleep-better-life.com/benefits-of-sleep.html and about how lack of sleep affects your body here http://www.better-sleep-better-life.com/sleep-deprivation-effects.html  (+ info)

Why does sleep deprivation make the symptoms of sleep apnea worse?

I recently did a sleep study and found that I have obstructive sleep apnea and it causes me to wake up during the night - often many times. I go through cycles where the problem gets much worse, one night of poor sleep leads to another worse night of interupted sleep, and so on - sometimes for a month or even more. I have heard that sleep deprivation makes the symptoms of sleep apnea much worse, and as I am searching for the right treatments, I was just interested in finding out why - what is the mechanism that causes this? Very strenuous exercise during the day or early evening can have the same effect. Thank you for any insights.

Actually, sleep apnea is a condition where you actually stop breathing during sleep. For most people, this causes them to wake up quickly; for others, it's a life-threatening situation (especially for babies and small children). I imagine if you're not getting much rest, when you do finally get to sleep your body is so tired it's hard for your body to wake up when you stop breathing. Also, even though your body eventually trains itself to sleep lightly in order potentially avoid apnea, when YOU finally get some sleep your body falls into a deeper sleep. This makes it harder for your body to avoid apnea. I would advise you to get plenty of rest whenever possible. I believe you should obtain a sleep apnea monitor from your physician. This will sound an alarm to wake you up when you stop breathing, or if your oxygen saturation level drops below a certain percentage. This may alleviate some of your anxiety and help you sleep better at night. Just a thought. Good luck.  (+ info)

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