We’ve already talked about the causes of sleep deprivation on our blog, and now it’s time to talk about the effects. Sleep problems are very prevalent, and a number of factors can contribute to a lack of sleep, including environmental and lifestyle factors, medical conditions, and sleep disorders. But, it’s important to know that sleep plays an important role in systemic physiology and brain function. And, sleep deprivation can have significant negative consequences, both short-term and long-term.
The Effects of Sleep Deprivation
Sleep deprivation can cause many adverse effects, including that it can affect:
- Heart Health
Sleep is important for heart health. When you're not obtaining enough sleep, it puts you at a higher risk for coronary heart disease and cardiovascular disease, regardless of your weight, age, exercise habits, and whether you smoke or not. It's not totally clear why a lack of sleep can be detrimental to the health of your heart, but researchers have found not obtaining enough sleep can cause interruptions in underlying medical disorders and biological processes, such as:
- Blood pressure
- Glucose metabolism
- Emotional Health
If you're deprived of sleep, it could result in immense emotional problems. Chronic sleep deprivation can put you at increased risk for depression. Over the years, research has found individuals can be psychologically and physically damaged when they don't obtain adequate sleep. Even mild sleep deprivation could affect emotional and cognitive function.
Lack of sleep can impact your mood, and you may feel “cranky” after two or three days of not getting enough sleep. On the flip side, once you’ve received enough sleep, your mood often returns to its normal state.
- Blood Pressure
Studies have shown sleep deprivation might cause subtle vital signs changes. Your vital signs are essential physiological markers doctors often track during general health evaluations. These include:
- Heart rate
- Body temperature
- Breathing rate
- Blood pressure
For instance, being deprived of sleep could lead to a small overall reduction in body temperature. Other vital sign changes are fairly mild. Individuals with sleep deprivation, when sleeping, tend to have more frequent and longer breathing pauses known as apnea.
- Neurologic Function
When you're deprived of sleep, it produces similar effects as drinking alcohol. For instance, you might experience uncontrolled reflexive movements of your eye known as nystagmus, or you might slur your speech. You might develop a tremor or slight shakiness in your hands, or experience ptosis, which is when you have more pronounced eyelid droopiness.
You might also have a decreased threshold for seizures; therefore, those with epilepsy have a higher risk for seizures when experiencing sleep deprivation.
- Mental Processing
Sleep is essential for learning and thinking. Sleep deprivation can hurt these cognitive processes in various ways. It can impair:
- Problem solving
This makes it harder to learn efficiently. Also, in the nighttime, different sleep cycles contribute to memory consolidation in your mind. When you're sleep deprived, it takes away your ability of remembering what you experienced and learned during the day.
What to Do About Sleep Deprivation
There are things you can do to improve your sleep hygiene. The very first thing you should do is to provide yourself with enough sleeping time, which can help you become more productive and happier during the day.
Ways to improve your sleep hygiene are:
- Going to bed and waking up each day at the same time. Having a set bedtime for children and a bedtime routine.
- Maintaining the same sleeping schedule on weekends and weeknights. Sleeping in and staying up late on weekends can interfere with your body's sleep-wake rhythm.
- Avoiding large and/or heavy meals within a few hours of bedtime. Snacking lightly is fine.
- Avoiding nicotine, alcohol and caffeine. Caffeine and nicotine are stimulants and can interrupt your sleep. Caffeine's effects can also last up to eight hours, so drinking a cup of coffee later on in the afternoon could make it difficult to fall asleep at night.
- Making the hour before bedtime quiet time. Avoiding bright artificial light like the computer screen or TV and strenuous exercise.
- Being physically active, and spending time outdoors each day if possible.
- Keeping your bedroom dark, cool, and quiet (night lights are fine).
- Using relaxation techniques, or taking a hot bath before bed.
Taking a nap during the day might help boost performance and alertness, but if you're having difficulty falling asleep at night, you should take your naps in the early afternoon, and avoid napping for more than 20 minutes.
Beat Sleep Deprivation With a CBD Pillow
If you're considering CBD for sleep or cannabidiol and sleep disorders treatment, a CBD pillow may be your answer. We use microencapsulation technology when designing our CBD-infused pillows. Through this patented process, we inject millions of micro-capsules of CBD into each pillow. The CBD micro-doses are then released into your system while you sleep, enabling you to experience the potential therapeutic benefits, such as CBD for anxiety or CBD for pain.
Microencapsulation is an innovative, new process where microscopic droplets of CBD-infused oil are wrapped with a protective polymeric coating.
When we made our first prototypes, we immediately felt our body relax, anxiety lower, and we started drifting off into a sound and deep sleep just minutes later. This is when we knew the CBD pillow could potentially work well for sleep deprivation and other ailments.
Our pillows are:
- Certified less than 0.3% THC
- Grown and harvested in the U.S.
- GreenGuard Gold and CertiPUR certified