Each one of us has definitely experienced it at some point – spending a night tossing and turning in our bed and waking up the next morning feeling tired, cranky, unmotivated, and simply not in the mood for anything. It’s not the best feeling in the world, but with our busy schedules, we just couldn’t help but miss a few hours of sleep even if we know what to expect the next day.

But here’s the thing: Missing out on the recommended 7 to 9 hours of uninterrupted sleep every night does more than just make you feel grumpy and groggy. Experts advise adults aged 18-60 to have at least 7 hours of full sleep every night. But according to research, around 35 percent of adults living in the United States are sleep deprived.

In order to meet the CDC’s sleep recommendation, adults should not be awake longer than 17 hours every day. Otherwise, they will start experiencing the effects of sleep deprivation within 24 hours.

And this isn’t just about feeling weary all day. The long-term health effects of sleep deprivation on the body are real and must be addressed as soon as possible. Perhaps you need to buy that warm and cozy mattress you saw in a nearby shop in American Fork the other day.

Your mental and physical health are at risk when you’re constantly sleep deprived. Lack of sleep drains your mental abilities and hinders you from functioning 100 percent throughout the day. Several studies have proven that sleep deprivation is associated with a number of health problems among adults, from a weakened immune system to unexplained weight gain.

Here are a few things you should know about sleep deprivation:

woman tired and sleepy while working

  • The most vulnerable to the detrimental effects of lack of sleep are children, teenagers, and young adults.
  • Lack of sleep changes a person’s normal functioning of attention and reduces the ability to focus on important tasks.
  • Sleep loss has been pointed out to have played a significant role in a number of fatal transportation-related accidents involving airplanes, trains, ships, automobiles, and even nuclear power plants.
  • Sleep deprivation can be considered a symptom of a sleep disorder or other more serious medical conditions that have been left undiagnosed.
  • Failure to complete the required amount of sleep every night causes a person to accumulate a sleep debt.

Treatments Available for Sleep Deprivation

Of course, one way of treating sleep deprivation directly is by getting sufficient sleep at night. But oftentimes, this is a lot easier said than done, especially if you’ve been on your sleep-deprived cycle for several weeks or even longer. If you think you’ve been experiencing sleep deprivation a lot longer than you’re used to and the symptoms have started to bother you, it’s time to seek help from your doctor or a sleep specialist.

These health professionals can diagnose your condition and offer the right treatments to a possible sleep disorder. It can be truly difficult to get quality sleep every night once you’ve been diagnosed with a sleep disorder, so it’s important to talk to your doctor and have better time management skills.