Here’s everything you need to know about sleep deprivation

From the symptoms and dangers to causes and cures.

Sleep deprivation

From the symptoms and dangers to causes and cures.

Words by Emma Richards

What is sleep deprivation?

Sleep deprivation is a condition that occurs when you aren’t getting enough sleep. As adults we should be getting between 7-9 hours of shut-eye a night, although it varies on personal needs. Not getting enough sleep can have huge effects on both your physical and mental health.

What are the symptoms of sleep deprivation?

The most obvious symptom of sleep deprivation is tiredness, which often leads to fatigue and lethargy. When suffering from sleep deprivation you may also experience mood swings, often becoming irritable and short tempered. You may also find it difficult to concentrate and have delayed reaction times. More serious symptoms can include disorientation, hallucinations and paranoia.

sleep deprivation

What are the dangers of sleep deprivation?

Severe sleep deprivation can lead to high risk chronic health problems, including high blood pressure, heart disease, and strokes.

What are the causes of sleep deprivation?

There are many reasons why you might not be getting enough sleep, from stress, anxiety and being generally unwell to medication and big changes or problems in your personal life.

How can you cure sleep deprivation?

It may seem obvious but the best way to cure sleep deprivation is to dedicate some time to getting more rest. You may not need a great deal of recovery sleep but some is better than none. Establishing a regular sleep pattern will help, and fitting exercise into your daily routine will keep you alert during the day and help you sleep at night.

Jenny Proudfoot
Features Editor

Jenny Proudfoot is an award-winning journalist, specialising in lifestyle, culture, entertainment, international development and politics. She has worked at Marie Claire UK for seven years, rising from intern to Features Editor and is now the most published Marie Claire writer of all time. She was made a 30 under 30 award-winner last year and named a rising star in journalism by the Professional Publishers Association.