What Does Sleep Deprivation Look Like

Many people do not realize how sleep deprived they are. Do you believe that the minute your head hits the pillow you fall asleep is normal? Do you believe that you should want to take a nap during your lunch break or as soon as you get home from work? Do you get frustrated or anger easily? All of these are signs that you are sleep deprived.

It is even more difficult to determine sleep deprivation in children. Many children act differently than adults when they are chronically tired. The problem is that sleep deprivation and sleep apnea symptoms in children look a great deal like ADHD. Children will become agitated and have difficulty concentrating. They become very active during the day instead of tired.

Sleep apnea also looks different. They will snore or breathe with their mouth open. They may have some disruptions during their sleep but not always. They may toss and turn a lot. However, many times sleep deprivation is caused because as parents we do not send our children to bed early enough. They may also be woken up too early. Children need longer sleep times and if you keep them up too late, they miss important periods of sleep that allows them to produce growth hormone as well as consolidate their memories.

In adults, sleep deprivation shows up as memory issues both long term and short term because your brain does not get to process the memories. It also can prevent the brain from the time it needs to clean out waste. This may affect memory as well as contribute to morning headaches.

You may experience other symptoms like fatigue and sleepiness, headaches and snacking. I am aware that snacking sounds like a weird symptom, however, when our brain is tired many times we misinterpret the signal as being hungry and we make poor decisions that will cause us to snack.

Everyone has his or her own symptoms. This is not an exhaustive list of symptoms but it does give you a place to start considering what in your life is caused from sleep and is it worth your health to give up the 1 to 2 hours a night sleep?

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