Sleep Deprivation — Detriments and Disadvantages


The last several days have been unpleasant for me –I’ve not been sleeping well at all. Wednesday and yesterday were much worse. Thanksgiving Day was pretty good. By yesterday the sleep deprivation was really catching up to me. How did I ever stay awake when I was in training for 36 hours at a time? I guess the aging process finally catches up.
I slept a little better last night but the effects of sleep deprivation don’t just disappear after one good night’s sleep. Today I still feel a little out of it. But I’m forcing myself to blog. It is so hard to concentrate on the keys, I’m not even sure why I’m doing this. Thank God for spell checkers!
I’ve been thinking about the aging process in general and how the elderly do not always get adequate sleep. In the demented population, the effects can be greatly magnified. And, yes. When the patient doesn’t sleep well, then the caregiver begins to experience sleep deprivation. So, it can affect others at the same time. Imagine many members of a household being sleep deprived on a chronic basis!
I’ve listed some common symptoms of sleep deprivation some of which are short-term while others are long-term. The green highlighted ones are the ones I’ve been feeling the most.

Short-term effects of sleep deprivation: 

  1. Decreased daytime alertness. Loss of 1 ½ hours sleep can result in a 30-35% reduction in daytime alertness.
  2. Tiredness and feeling a need for 0a nap
  3. Irritability, edginess and moodiness
  4. Headache
  5. Loss of balance and coordination
  6. Inability to tolerate stress
  7. Memory lapses and difficulty concentrating
  8. Learning, behavioral or social problems
  9. Blurred vision
  10. Vague body discomfort
  11. Changes in appetite
  12. Feeling lazy
  13. Hypnagogic hallucinations (the state between being awake and falling asleep. For some people, this is a time of visual and auditory hallucination.
  14. Uncooperative attitude
  15. Hallucinations, delusions and illusions (Hallucinations are false perceptions that occur in the absence of appropriate external stimuli, whereas illusions are misinterpretations of external stimuli that are, in fact, present).
  16. Slowing and slurring of speech and difficulty naming common objects.
  17. Episodes of fragmented thinking
  18. Paranoia
  19. Expressionless appearance or looking and feeling dazed
  20. Monotone speech
  21. Feeling frustrated if not being able to nap

Long-term effects of sleep deprivation:

  • Impaired immune system
  • Frequent infections
  • High blood pressure
  • Heart attack
  • Heart failure
  • Stroke
  • Psychiatric problems such as depression and other mood disorders
  • Mental impairment
  • Increased mortality risk
  • Relationship problems with a bed partner
  • Obesity

Perhaps on another occasion, I can discuss sleep in more depth.




12 Responses

  1. Some of the members on the Yahoo site have tried Melatonin and have had good results.I am sure others will write and tell you indepth results.
    I have not tried it.

  2. Hi Jackie……..I’ve tried using melatonin several times over the years. It worked well by taking money out of my pocket but I never felt anything from it for sleep even when I took it at the maximum dosages.

    Thanks for the suggestion.


  3. Hi David,

    I care for my father who has Lewy Body Dementia and Alzheimers. I’m sorry I don’t have any suggestions for the sleep deprivation…the changing body clock, exposure to light…things no doubt you are aware of. How fustrating for you…wishing you a good nights sleep.

    kind regards


  4. Sleep deprivation is one of the worst things I can think of. Many of us with Chronic Fatigue can’t sleep! Even the Fibromyalgia keeps us awake, not finding a place for ourselves.

    But, you have to keep trying. One good night’s sleep does not make up for day, weeks, sometimes months of not sleeping.
    I try very hard to wind down my day, keep the lights soft, and think of nothing but sleeping. I clear my mind, most of the time.

    If I do wake up and I’m up for more than an hou and a half, I get out of bed, read, have a cup of tea, sometimes do an email or two, and go back to bed. I do not stay out of bed more than one hour.

    David, there is not solution, as you know..but when you need to nap, you nap!

    Keep love and kisses in your life. Helene

  5. Reblogged this on The Past, Present, and Future and commented:
    This connects to my personal research

  6. Would these coincide with someone with sleep insomnia?

  7. Wow i didn’t know a lack of sleep would lead to frequent infections? but obviously that’s just tied into with having a deteriorating immune system. I have one question, would someone have similar of not all the same effects if suffering from sleep insomnia?

    • Yes.

  8. I do not know if it’s just me or if everyone else experiencing issues with your site. It appears as though some of the written text within your posts are running off the screen. Can somebody else please provide feedback and let me know if this is happening to them too? This might be a problem with my browser because I’ve had this
    happen previously. Kudos

    • I will check for these posts and correct them if necessary. Thank you kindly.

  9. Thanks for finally writing about >Sleep Deprivation – Detriments and Disadvantages | A Psychiatrist with Lewy Body Dementia (LBD) <Liked it!

  10. are the hypnogogic hallucinations the same as the Lewy Body Hallucinations?

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