What is sleep deprivation?

Sleep is crucial for many reasons: it helps you remain healthy, and it helps you feel energized and alert throughout the day. If you don’t get sufficient sleep, you may struggle with concentration at work or school, or falling asleep during your time there. You might also find that you are more prickly than usual, or have trouble focusing on simple tasks like driving or reading. Sleep deprivation can have a wide range of effects on both your mental and physical health.

Are you having trouble sleeping? Do you feel you’re constantly exhausted, even though you’re getting enough sleep? Sleep deprivation is a serious issue and a genuine problem in today’s world. It can lead to several problems, including the failure to concentrate and focus on tasks, mood swings, and much weight gain.

Sleep deprivation

Causes and effects of sleep deprivation

Sleep deprivation is the condition of not getting enough sleep; the causes can be diversified. The symptoms of sleep privation include drowsiness, irritability and sensitivity, slow reaction time, poor concentration and memory, and increased risk of accidents.

Several factors, including poor diet and lack of exercise, can cause a lack of sleep. Stress or anxiety can also cause it (especially when it is long term). Other common reasons for sleep deprivation include staying up late to watch TV or socialize with friends online.

When you’re sleep deprived, your body feels tired, but your mind won’t let you rest because it’s concentrated on everything that needs to get done tomorrow. The result? You have no rest at all!

Symptoms of sleep deprivation include:

  • Fatigue
  • Headaches
  • Anxiety and depression

Here are some of the most common types of this problem:

  • Chronic sleep deprivation occurs when you have a consistent pattern of not getting enough sleep. This can be because of the demands of your job or personal life, or maybe you have a tendency to stay up late and sleep in.
  • Insomnia is a type of chronic sleep deprivation that occurs when you’re unable to fall asleep or stay asleep. Stress, anxiety, depression, or other medical conditions like heartburn or acid reflux disease can cause insomnia.
  • Circadian rhythm disorders are another type of chronic sleep deprivation that affects your circadian rhythm—your body’s internal clock—and disrupts your natural sleep-wake cycle. Circadian rhythm disorders can result from jet lag or shift work schedules, which don’t allow the body enough time to adjust its internal clock before going into "sleep mode" again at night (or vice versa).
  • Nocturnal seizures are another form of chronic sleep privation caused by epilepsy—a condition that causes repeated seizures during sleep (called nocturnal seizures).
  • Narcolepsy.


Sleep deprivation is the condition of not getting enough sleep. There are many types of sleep deprivation, and the causes can be diverse. The symptoms of sleep deprivation include drowsiness, irritability and moodiness, slow reaction time, poor concentration and memory, and increased risk of accidents.