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What Is The Definition Of Sleep Deprivation?
The American Sleep Association (ASA) defines sleep deprivation as “the cumulative effect of a person not having sufficient sleep.” This is true no matter whether it takes place in a short-term scenario (such as feeling sleep-deprived after pulling an all-nighter to cram for a test) or over the long-term (such as consistently not getting enough sleep due to a long commute, family obligations, or demanding work hours).
Sleep deprivation tends to result in predictable consequences, which we’ll detail below. These consequences provoke many of the noticeable symptoms of sleep deprivation.
Sleep deprivation is also common among college students, who often juggle coursework, extracurricular activities, part-time jobs, and busy social lives on top of dormitory living, which can be loud and disruptive. An article in Sleep Health, the journal of the National Sleep Foundation, suggested that many college students consider getting enough sleep a luxury rather than a necessity.
What Are The Symptoms Of Sleep Deprivation?
According to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, the main symptom of sleep deprivation is excessive daytime sleepiness. Being super tired during the day likely signals that you did not get enough rest the night before.
Other signs that you are sleep deprived include:
- Yawning a lot
- Feeling moody or irritable
- Having trouble focusing or learning new things
- Forgetting things
- Falling asleep or feeling drowsy at the wheel of your car
- Making mistakes at work (one particularly scary statistic: The American Sleep Association says “100,000 deaths occur each year in U.S. hospitals due to medical errors and sleep deprivation has been shown to make a significant contribution.”
What Causes Sleep Deprivation?
Sleep deprivation can be caused by a variety of factors including medical conditions, sleep disorders, environmental constraints, and busy schedules. Here’s an overview of some of the most common causes of sleep deprivation.
1. Jam-packed schedules
2. Lifestyle choices
3. Environmental factors
5. Restless Leg Syndrome
6. Sleep Apnea
7. Other medical conditions
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