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Define Sleep Deprivation

Signs, Symptoms, Effects & Solutions

Lucas Reynard & Paul Woods


Woods Global Deals


Introduction 4
How much sleep do I need: 5
Paying off the sleep debt 7
Naps. 8
Who is at risk for Sleep Deficiency & Sleep Deprivation. 8
Sleep Deprivation Symptoms: 9
Signs of drowsy driving— 11
Signs that You’re Sleep Deprived: 16
Treatments for Insomnia & Sleep Deprivation: 22
Non-Medicinal Sleep Deprivation Techniques: 22
Other Non-Medicinal (Sleep Hacks) Treatments. 24
Herbal Teas - The 6 Best Bedtime Teas That Help You Sleep 24
Prescription & OTC Medications 29

References: 30

Copyright 33
Sleep Deprivation Defined: Sleep deprivation is ​a sufficient lack of restorative
sleep over a cumulative period so as to cause physical or psychiatric symptoms and
affect routine performances of tasks. In short, you don’t get enough sleep to feel
refreshed and alert.

The two basic types of sleep are rapid eye movement (REM) and non-REM.
Non-REM sleep includes what is commonly known as deep sleep or slow wave
sleep. Dreaming typically occurs during REM sleep. Generally, non-REM and
REM sleep occur in a regular pattern of 3–5 cycles each night.

Your ability to function and feel well while you're awake depends on whether
you're getting enough total sleep and enough of each type of sleep. It also depends
on whether you're sleeping at a time when your body is prepared and ready to

You have an internal "body clock" that controls when you're awake and when your
body is ready for sleep. This clock typically follows a 24-hour repeating rhythm
(called the circadian rhythm). The rhythm affects every cell, tissue, and organ in
your body and how they work.

A compound called adenosine (ah-DEN-o-seen) seems to be one factor linked to

this drive for sleep. While you're awake, the level of adenosine in your brain
continues to rise. The increasing level of this compound signals a shift toward
sleep. While you sleep, your body breaks down adenosine.

The amount of melatonin in your bloodstream peaks as the evening wears on.
Researchers believe this peak is an important part of preparing your body for sleep.
Exposure to bright artificial light in the late evening can disrupt this process,
making it hard to fall asleep. Examples of bright artificial light include the light
from a TV screen, computer screen, or a very bright alarm clock​.

If you aren't getting enough sleep, are sleeping at the wrong times, or have poor
quality sleep, you'll probably feel very tired during the day.
As part of a health survey for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention,
about 7–19 percent of adults in the United States reported not getting enough rest
or sleep every day.
Nearly 40 percent of adults report falling asleep during the day without meaning to
at least once a month. ​Sleep deprivation afflicts approximately ​50 to 70 million
Americans having chronic (ongoing) sleep disorders.

How much sleep do I need​:

Sleep is a vital indicator of overall health and well-being. Like good diet and
exercise, sleep is a critical component to overall health. ​We spend up to one-third
of our lives asleep, and the overall state of our "sleep health" remains an essential
question throughout our lifespan. ​While sleep requirements vary slightly from
person to person, ​most healthy adults need between 7 to 9 hours of sleep per night
to function at their best.

However, there is no “one-size-fits-all answer”. Many factors (like age, your

body's base or innate need for sleep, age, sleep quality, health issues, overweight,
medications, pregnancy, particular stressful conditions affecting your daily live,
and sleep debt) play a role in establishing your particular "magic number." As you
age, your sleep needs change -- older adults may need less sleep, seven to eight
hours after age 65, for example, than their younger counterparts. ​To further
complicate matters, stimulants like coffee and energy drinks, alarm clocks, and
external lights—including those from electronic devices—interferes with our
"circadian rhythm" or natural sleep/wake cycle.

Sleep needs are individual, and change as you age. However, is 5 hours of sleep
enough…probably not. Newborns, for example, need a total of 14 to 17 hours of
sleep a day. Infants need 12 to 15 hours a day, and teens need 8 to 10 hours.
Children and teens need even more. And despite the notion that our sleep needs
decrease with age, most older people (over age 64) still need at least 7 hours of

Do women need more sleep than men? Yes, according to ​Dr. Jim Horne​, Britain's
leading expert in sleep science. In an article published in the ​Daily Mail,​ Horne
explained that on average women need 20 more minutes of sleep than men. He
further stated that women tend to multi-task and use more of their actual brain than
men leading to a greater need for sleep. Essentially, the more you use your brain
during the day, the more it needs restful sleep.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which requested and helped
support the development of the current sleep recommendations, has called not
getting enough sleep a​ public health epidemic​.

Among the most common sleep disorders are insomnia and obstructive sleep
apnea, which causes people to stop breathing intermittently throughout the night.
About 10% of adults have chronic insomnia; obstructive sleep apnea affects an
estimated 24% of men and 9% of women.

Obstructive sleep apnea in particular can take a toll in many ways beyond just
shortening the amount of sleep you get. The condition can increase blood pressure
(separately from the effect of not getting enough sleep), deprive the body of
oxygen, cause irregular heartbeat and make the blood more sticky, all of which can
increase the risk of heart disease and stroke.

Insomnia, and consistent sleep-wake patterns of going to bed late, frequent

nighttime arousals, or waking up early can lead to sleep deprivation and the
accumulation of sleep debt. These are just a few of the myriad of reasons of sleep

It's important to pay attention to your own individual needs by determining how
you feel on different amounts of sleep.

● Are you productive, healthy and happy on 7 or 8 hours of sleep? Or does

it take you nine hours of quality sleep to get you to function properly?
● Do you have health issues such as being overweight? Are you at risk for
any disease or have a disease that interferes with quality sleep?
● Are you experiencing sleep deprivation problems?
● Do you depend on caffeine to get you through the day?
● Do you feel sleepy when driving?
Paying off the sleep debt
When you fail to get your required amount of sufficient sleep you start to
accumulate a sleep debt. For example, if you need 7 hours of sleep nightly to feel
awake and alert and only get 5 hours, you have a sleep debt of 2 hours. If you
continue that pattern for five nights, you have an accumulated sleep debt of 10

The only way to erase a sleep debt is to get more sleep. You will know you have
paid back your sleep debt when you wake up feeling refreshed, and you do not feel
excessively drowsy during the day. There is controversy about whether you can
effectively pay off (wipe-out) sleep debt. Some doctors and sleep scientists don’t
believe it is possible especially as it accumulates to larger amounts.

Leonardo DaVinci purportedly survived on 15minute cat naps taken every four
hours his entire adult life, and he was certainly capable of intense focus,
concentration and memory. So if you are able to nap several times during the day,
this method tends to lessen the actual single-session sleep your body requires.
However, if you have trouble falling asleep at night, limit naps or take them earlier
in the afternoon. Adults should nap for no more than 20 minutes. Note that naps
(sleep) are different from meditation.

Napping in preschool-aged children is normal and promotes healthy growth and

Who is at risk for Sleep Deficiency & Sleep Deprivation.
Sleep deficiency, which includes sleep deprivation, affects people of all ages,
races, economic status, location and ethnicities. Certain groups of people may be
more likely to be sleep deficient. Examples include people who:

● Have limited time available for sleep, such as caregivers or people working long hours or
more than one job.

● Parents of newborn babies.

● Have schedules that conflict with their internal body clocks, such as shift workers, first
responders, teens who have early school schedules, or people who must travel for work

● Make lifestyle choices that prevent them from getting enough sleep, such as taking
medicine to stay awake, abusing alcohol or drugs, or not leaving enough time for sleep

● Have undiagnosed or untreated medical problems, such as stress, anxiety, or sleep


● Have medical conditions or take medicines that interfere with sleep, such as Parkinson’s
Disease. ​
Sleep Deprivation Symptoms:
(​Any ​subjective evidence of disease is a symptom. Conversely, a sign is ​objective.
For example, blood coming out a nostril is a sign; it is apparent to the patient,
physician, and others. Anxiety, low back pain, and fatigue are all symptoms since
only the patient can perceive them. Some symptoms are also signs but we will try
to keep them separate to ease your understanding).

● Depression.

A lack of sufficient quality sleep can lead to depression. If sleepless nights are a
regular depression may result. Unfortunately, it can also create a vicious circle as
depression can itself lead to sleepless nights, feeding back into the problem. ​People
with chronic insomnia often have anxiety and an increased risk of suicide.
Interestingly, there have been studies that show sleep restriction might have
potential when it comes to treating depression. We know that people suffering
from depression experience earlier incidences of REM sleep plus increased rapid
eye movements; and monitoring a patient’s EEG and waking them during bouts of
REM sleep appears to produce a therapeutic effect, thus alleviating symptoms of

We know that people suffering from depression experience earlier incidences of

REM sleep plus increased rapid eye movements; and monitoring a patient’s EEG
and waking them during bouts of REM sleep appears to produce a therapeutic
effect, thus alleviating symptoms of depression. When sleep deprived, up to 60%
of patients show signs of immediate recovery; however, most relapse the next

In 2014, a thorough evaluation of the human metabolome in sleep deprivation

discovered that 27 metabolites are increased following 24 waking hours, with
suggestions that tryptophan, serotonin, and taurine may be contributing to the
antidepressive effect.

● Memory Loss.

Studies have shown that during sleep, events occur in the brain that help
memories to become firmly implanted in our minds. This helps us to
remember them when needed.
However, if these memory-consolidating events cannot take place due to a
lack of sleep, then we are less likely to remember even important facts.

● Accident Prone.

Many of us have jobs that involve physical skills. Even something as

common as driving to work can be more technical than we imagine and a
moment’s lapse in concentration could lead to disaster. A lack of adequate
sleep is a common cause of serious accidents. The extent of problems and
accidents due to a lack of sleep have caused governments around the
world to implement legal and safety restrictions on how businesses
operate. For example, truck drivers are limited to how long they can drive
before taking a lengthy break.

More than one-third of people admit dozing off while driving. According to older
figures (from 2013), ​The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
estimates that drowsy driving was responsible for 72,000 crashes, 44,000 injuries,
and 800 deaths.​ However, these numbers are underestimated and up to 6,000 fatal
crashes each year may be caused by drowsy drivers.

Signs of drowsy driving—

● Yawning or blinking frequently.

● Difficulty remembering the past few miles driven.

● Missing your exit.

● Drifting from your lane.

● Hitting the side of the road.

Sleep deprivation in resident physicians has been targeted to reduce medical errors
and patient harm in hospitals. It also has been partially blamed in settings as
diverse as the Chernobyl nuclear reactor meltdown and transportation accidents
such as the grounding of the Exxon Valdez.

Kristen Knutson, an assistant professor of medicine at the University of Chicago

who was evaluating an extensive 14 year sleep study said signs that you are not
sleeping well or enough include needing a lot of caffeine to get through the day
and falling asleep during a meeting or movie, which Knutson said does not usually
happen in well-rested people no matter how bored they are.

To know what is right for you, see how long you sleep when you are a couple of
days into a vacation and the alarm does not go off, Knutson suggested. (The first
couple of days you might sleep longer because you are catching up.)
Additionally, if you are feeling too tired to work, you should consider stopping,
especially if you are operating heavy machinery.

● Increased Mortality​.

It is often said that one secret of a long and happy life is to get plenty of
sleep – not getting enough sleep could well bring your life to a premature
In a 2007 study performed by the British government, results showed that people
who get just 5 hours of sleep per night doubled their chances of dying prematurely.

● Libido Loss.

Sex is one of the most natural acts performed. Studies have corroborated that sex is
an important part of a relationship, helping to form and maintain bonds between

Unfortunately, if you are sleep deprived, your desire to have sex is likely to
decrease. Studies in men showed that a lack of sleep leads to a decrease in
testosterone levels. This will, in turn, have a negative effect on their libido. A lack
of sleep is likely to affect the libido of women as well.

● Slower Brain.
If you have difficulty sleeping you will likely find that your ability to think is
negatively affected. Concentrating on one particular task can become difficult and
learning new tasks more challenging. Even highly intelligent people can find that
their brains slow down if they don’t get the sleep that they need.
New research from the David Geffen School of Medicine at the University of Los
Angeles, California (UCLA) and Tel Aviv University in Israel now confirms that
sleep-deprived people experience memory lapses and may deal with distorted
visual perception; the communication between neurons is temporarily impaired.
"We discovered that starving the body of sleep also robs neurons of the ability to
function properly. This paves the way for cognitive lapses in how we perceive and
react to the world around us." Senior study author Dr. Itzhak Fried
"We were fascinated to observe how sleep deprivation dampened brain cell
activity," explains lead study author Dr. Yuval Nir. He notes that with lack of
sleep, brain cells became "sluggish" and neural communication was impaired.
The ​results​ of the study were published in the journal ​Nature Medicine​.

● Weight Gain.

It is common knowledge that excess weight can lead to significant health

problems. If you are having difficulty sleeping, though, keeping the extra weight
off can be a lot harder.

Insufficient sleep increase the ​levels of appetite-inducing hormones, ​stimulating the

appetite, causing us to eat more. Eating more means more calories and these are
converted into fat which can cause us to become obese. It will also become
especially difficult to exercise if you are feeling too tired or will limit the extent of
possible exercise.

● Aging Appearance.

‘​Beauty sleep’ is a common term implying that sleep helps us to look better.
Generally, it is quite accurate, as lack of adequate sleep can have a big effect on a
person’s appearance even if temporarily (i.e. Redness, puffiness, dark circles, and
bags -- all signs that you’re not getting enough shut-eye). However, sleep
deprivation can also have a long-term effect on your appearance.
When we are sleeping, that is the time our bodies heal itself. During sleep, our
bodies release hormones that help to keep our muscles, bones and skin healthy.
A lack of sleep can affect the health of those systems. The sleep-deprived tend to
get more wrinkles, lines, swelling, and droopiness, studies show. Why? It may be
that your body misses out on the hormone control and tissue repair that happens in
deep sleep stages.

In addition, insufficient sleep causes our bodies to release a hormone known as

cortisol, which breaks down skin collagen. ​One of the most well-known benefits of
collagen is its ability to promote glowing, vibrant skin. This essential protein
provides elasticity to the skin, helping it to appear more youthful and healthy. But
if you lack collagen fine lines, loose skin, and dryness usually occur.

● High Blood Pressure.

The constant free flow of blood around our bodies in our circulatory system is
essential to our well-being. Without it, our bodies would be starved of the nutrients
that are carried in the bloodstream and we would die. In order to achieve a constant
flow, the blood needs to be pumped at a certain pressure to ensure it circulates
throughout the entire body.

Despite the need for a certain blood pressure, high blood pressure can be
dangerous. A lack of sleep can lead to a high blood pressure, causing potentially
serious complications, like a stroke or heart attack.
One small study found that healthy adults had ​higher blood pressure after a night
when they were only allowed to sleep four hours compared with a night when they
were allowed to sleep for eight hours.

● Increased Illnesses.

For people that suffer from sleeplessness, it weakens your immune system by not
producing enough ​cytokines ​which are proteins that help protect against infections
and inflammation​, ​making illness a more regular and likely occurrence and
weakens our body’s ability to fight those illnesses. This includes a higher incidence
of heart attacks, strokes, obesity and diabetes, all leading causes of premature

A weakened immune system also diminishes your body’s ability to fight cancer,
the number 2 cause of death, second only to heart disease. ​Sleep also affects how
your body reacts to insulin, the hormone that controls your blood glucose (sugar)
level. Sleep deficiency results in ​the release of ​insulin resulting in a higher than
normal blood sugar level, which may increase your risk for diabetes.
Sleep deprivation also, which leads to increased fat storage and a higher risk of
type 2 diabetes​.
A study presented at the 2015 European Society of Cardiology meeting found that
men who had a sleep disorder were between 2 and 2.6 times ​more likely to have a
heart attack ​and 1.5 to 4 times more likely to have a stroke over the 14-year period
of the study.
Insufficient sleep can ​affect hormone production​, including growth hormones and
testosterone in men. Studies have also linked sleep deprivation with developing or
worsening acne, since it affects your hormones.
​Sleep disturbance is also one of the leading predictors of institutionalization in the
elderly, and severe sleep disorders triple the mortality risk in elderly men. ​In the
elderly, sleep deficiency might be linked to an increased risk of falls and broken

● Mornings Feel Crummy

Waking up with a sore throat, dry mouth, or lack of sleep headache could point to a
medical reason you’re sleeping poorly -- sleep apnea, snoring, or acid reflux, are

● You're Having Trouble Seeing

"When fatigued, you're not able to control the muscles of the eye as well," says
Steven Shanbom, MD, an ophthalmologist in Berkley, Mich. First, skimping on
shuteye tires out the ciliary muscle, which helps your eyes focus. The result: you'll
have a harder time reading up close, Dr. Shanbom says. Then there's the extra
ocular muscle, which moves the eye from side to side and up and down. "Many
people have a muscle imbalance where their eyes don't track well together," Dr.
Shanbom says, but in a well-rested person the eyes can compensate on their own.
A lack of sleep makes the misalignment harder to control, potentially resulting in
double vision. You might notice both of these vision problems after one night of
poor sleep, but they will persist the less time you spend in bed.
Some extremely sleep deprived people describe seeing hallucinations.
● Sleepiness

The most common symptom of not getting enough sleep is what you probably
expect: feeling sleepy. This might lead to a feeling of drowsiness or sleepiness, in
which you have a strong desire to fall asleep. ​Excessive sleepiness also contributes
to a greater than double the risk of sustaining an occupational injury.
Children with sleep deprivation actually may become hyperactive but have most of
the other typical symptoms including poor attention and concentration. ​They also
might misbehave, and their school performance can suffer.

● It makes you look and feel older

As a person sleeps, their body produces more human growth hormone (HGH),
which is involved in the repair and regeneration of cells. This explains why people
who are constantly deprived of sleep often have wrinkles and tired-looking skin.
HGH is involved in the production of collagen, the protein that makes skin firm
and elastic. Sleep deprivation is also associated with reduced muscle mass and
strength, as well as low bone density. These changes in the muscles and bones can
affect your posture and flexibility, as well as limit the physical activities that you
can do.
Signs that You’re Sleep Deprived:
1. You ​fall asleep immediately​. You might believe this is evidence of you up to
being a good sleeper, but the opposite is true. If you routinely fall asleep within
five minutes of lying down, you probably have severe sleep deprivation, possibly
even a sleep disorder, according to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders
and Stroke.

2. You’re ​more impulsive than usual. For example, you grabbed a donut at the
morning meeting when ordinarily you wouldn’t consider it; or, you splurged on an
expensive product you just saw online. A lack of sleep may be to blame. The
prefrontal cortex is greatly affected by sleep deprivation. This area is associated
with judgment, impulse control, visual association and attention. Less sleep leads
to poorer judgment and acting impulsively, e.g. poor eating when sleep deprived,
buying things without thinking about the consequences, irritability and mood
issues with others.

3. Sleep deprived people find it ​difficult to have spontaneous complicated

speech​, leading to more slurring, use of clichéd phrases, stuttering and monotone
speech. If you find yourself throwing around phrases like, “All’s well that ends
well,” or “Better safe than sorry,” it may be time to take a nap. The frontal lobe is
associated with speech, constructive thinking and novel thinking/creativity and is
greatly impacted by sleep deprivation.

4. ​You’re forgetful​. If you can’t find your phone or keys, only to realize you once
again left them on your bed, or you completely lost your train of thought in the
middle of a discussion; or blanked out on the name of a new acquaintance or an
actor, song or movie you love, a lack of adequate sleep may be compromising your
memory, if you’re not high on marijuana. Sleep leads to memory consolidation and
emotional processing, thus, without proper sleep, it’s harder to recall or create
memories. It’s also harder to put emotional memories into context, and thus, it is
more difficult to act rationally and thoughtfully.
​Research from the National Institutes of Health showed that in mice, ​sleep helps
clear toxic molecules from the brain. So not getting enough regularly could impair
your brain's ability to keep the nervous system clear, affecting your memory.
5. You’re ​hungrier than usual ​without apparent reason. When you don’t log
enough sleep each night, it’s harder to stop yourself from downing a bag of chips,
followed by a scoop or two of ice cream or perhaps the whole container. This is
especially true of desiring more carbohydrates. Here’s why: Sleep deprivation can
increase your appetite by affecting two key hormones in our body: leptin and
ghrelin. Leptin is the hormone that tells our body to stop eating, giving us the
sensation that we are full, and Ghrelin, is a hormone that gives us a hunger signal
and tells us to eat. When we don’t get enough sleep, the leptin/ghrelin balance is
shifted, with a drop in leptin and an increase in ghrelin. Hence, without a good
night’s sleep, the hormone telling us to eat more increases, while the hormone that
tells us to stop eating decreases.

6. You’ve read this sentence twice. An ​inability to focus and concentrate is a

sure sign that you’re not getting adequate sleep. Sleep deprivation also impairs
your ability to make split-second decisions, according to a ​2009 study in the
journal Sleep—the kind of decision-making that can be life-threatening, such as
when driving and trying to avoid a near accident.

7. ​You’re clumsy​. Some people tend to be naturally clumsy, but a lack of zzzz’s
can also cause issues with motor skills, such as being unsteady on your feet,
becoming unbalanced easily, stumbling or dropping things.

8. ​You’re moody and irritable​. The result - m​ore ​stressed, angry, and mentally
exhausted people. A 2013 U.C. Berkeley study found that couples have more
frequent and serious fights when they don’t get enough sleep. The researchers note
that the lack of sleep makes it harder to avoid and handle conflict.

9. You find yourself drifting off in thought, ​daydreaming​. If you’re “spacing out”
while driving, such as missing your exit on the freeway or doing things throughout
the day with little memory of them later on—in other words, on automatic pilot
and not really being aware and present in the moment—you need to get more
10. You ​fall asleep in the daytime at the movies or during a boring meeting.
Falling asleep the minute you enter a dark or dull environment, particularly if it’s
during daylight hours, is one of the hallmarks of sleep deprivation and the sleep
deprivation stages.

11. ​Damage to DNA.

According to a recent study, sleep deprivation can affect our genes and lead to the
damage of our DNA.
In the observational study on 49 healthy full-time doctors who had their blood
analyzed at different time points and on-call doctors who were required to work
overnight on-site were found to have lower DNA repair gene expression and more
DNA breaks than participants who did not work overnight.
According to the researchers, this damage may help explain the increased risk for
cancer and cardiovascular, metabolic diseases as well as neurodegenerative
disorders that are usually associated with sleep deprivation.

12. ​May Increase Risk of Cancer.

Tumors grow two to three times faster in laboratory animals with severe sleep
dysfunctions. The primary mechanism thought to be responsible for this effect is
disrupted ​melatonin production, a hormone with both antioxidant and anticancer
Melatonin both inhibits the proliferation of cancer cells and triggers cancer cell
apoptosis (self-destruction). It also interferes with the new blood supply tumors
require for their rapid growth (angiogenesis).

13. ​Increased Risk of Heart Attack.

Professor Matthew Walker, Ph.D., founder and director of the University of

California Berkeley's Center for Human Sleep Science and author of the book
"​Why We Sleep​: The New Science of Sleep and Dreams:"
"In the spring when we lose one hour of sleep, we see a subsequent 24 percent
increase in heart attacks. In the fall, when we gain one hour of sleep, we see a 21
percent decrease in heart attacks. That is how fragile your body is with even the
smallest perturbations of sleep …"

In his book, Walker also cites Japanese research demonstrating that male workers
who average 6 hours of sleep per night or less are 400 to 500 percent more likely to
suffer one or more cardiac arrests than those getting more than 6 hours of sleep
each night.
Other research has demonstrated that women who get less than four hours of
shut-eye per night double their risk of dying from ​heart disease​. In another study,
adults who slept less than five hours a night had 50 percent more coronary calcium,
a sign of oncoming heart disease, than those who regularly got seven hours.

14. ​Increased risk of pain and pain-related conditions such as fibromyalgia —

In one study, poor or insufficient sleep was the strongest predictor for pain in
adults over 50.

Sleep Deprivation Quiz

There is no evidence to suggest that you can become adapted to sleep deprivation,
however. Once you become impaired, you may not even realize it.
You can review the symptoms and signs described above and some psychologists
have formed the following self-assessment quiz to help you determine whether you
are sleep deprived from at their website below.
Please read the acknowledgement near the bottom of the submission form since
they do share your information if you choose to submit the completed quiz to them.

Sleep Deprivation Test (Self-Assessment)
Instructions: Below is a list of questions that relate to life experiences common
among people with sleep problems. Please read each question carefully, and
indicate how often you have experienced the same or similar challenges in the past
few months.
Do you find that you are moodier than normal?
Very Often
Do you experience an increase in appetite?
Very Often
Do you struggle to remember details you would normally remember?
Very Often
Do you feel sleepy during the day?
Very Often
Do you find your sex drive is lower than normal?
Very Often
Do you find that you are stressed out by minor inconveniences?
Very Often
Are you slow to comprehend when you’re reading?
Very Often
Do you rely on more than the recommended amount of caffeine to keep you
alert during the day?
Very Often
Treatments for Insomnia & Sleep Deprivation:

Non-Medicinal Sleep Deprivation Techniques:

According to the Nation Sleep Foundation, (as well as a few of our own based on
research) here are some general tips for improving the quantity and quality of your
​ o pave the way how to sleep better at night naturally, follow these simple yet
daily sleep: T
effective healthy sleep tips, including:

● Stick to a sleep schedule, even on weekends.

● Practice a relaxing bedtime ritual.

● Exercise daily but not within 3 hours of going to sleep.

● Evaluate your bedroom to ensure ideal temperature, sound and light.

● Sleep on a comfortable mattress and pillows.

● Beware of hidden sleep stealers, like alcohol and caffeine.

● Turn off electronics before bed.

● Going to sleep and waking up about the same time every day.

● Making your bedroom dark and cool. ​Remove sound and light distractions in your
bedroom during daytime sleep (for example, use light-blocking curtains)

● Making your bedroom a place for sleep, not work or stimulating activities like watching
TV or playing on the computer.

● ​Avoiding caffeine too close to bedtime.

● Taking a warm bath before going to sleep.

● Avoid nicotine (for example, cigarettes) and caffeine (including caffeinated soda, coffee,
tea, and chocolate). Nicotine and caffeine are stimulants, and both substances can
interfere with sleep. The effects of caffeine can last as long as 8 hours. So, a cup of
coffee in the late afternoon can make it hard for you to fall asleep at night.

● Try not to drink fluids after 8 p.m. This may reduce awakenings due to urination.
● Nicotine is a stimulant and should be avoided particularly near bedtime and upon night
awakenings. Having a smoke before bed, although it may feel relaxing, is actually putting
a stimulant into your bloodstream.​.

● Caffeine is also a stimulant and is present in coffee (100-200 mg), soda (50-75 mg),
tea (50-75 mg), and various over-the-counter . Caffeine should be discontinued at least
four to six hours before bedtime. If you consume large amounts of caffeine and you cut
yourself off too quickly, beware; that could keep you awake.

● Although alcohol is a depressant and may help you fall asleep, the subsequent that clears
it from your body when you are sleeping causes a withdrawal syndrome. This withdrawal
causes awakenings and is often associated with and sweats.

● A light snack may be sleep-inducing, but a heavy meal too close to bedtime interferes
with sleep. Stay away from protein and stick to carbohydrates or dairy products.

It is perfectly normal to worry about the effects of a lack of sleep. In fact, the
findings of the Great British Sleep Survey tell us that 68% of poor sleepers
surveyed were bothered by thoughts about how they would cope the next day and
beyond. ​If you are concerned about sleep deprivation, we recommend keeping a
diary of the times you have been sleeping each day for 2 weeks to bring to a
qualified physician.

Other Non-Medicinal (Sleep Hacks) Treatments.

Prescribed medication to treat sleep deprivation, like all chemical medications,
include the risks of negative side effects, often chemical dependency,
psychological dependency and cost. Hence in addition to the treatments listed
above, we thought it appropriate to include natural remedies (besides just getting
more sleep). We won’t get into them in detail but want the reader to be aware of
them for their own further investigation.

Boost your melatonin — Ideally it is best to increase levels naturally with

exposure to bright sunlight in the daytime (along with full spectrum fluorescent
bulbs in the winter) and absolute complete darkness at night.

If that isn't possible, you can boost your melatonin level using either
5-hydroxytryptophan (5-HTP) or a melatonin supplement. You can take
sublingual melatonin every night to help ensure that I have adequate levels.
5-HTP, the hydroxylated form of tryptophan, is first converted into serotonin
before being converted into melatonin.

In one study, an amino acid preparation containing both GABA (a calming

neurotransmitter) and 5-HTP reduced time to fall asleep, increased the duration of
sleep and improved sleep quality. If using straight melatonin, start with as little as
0.25 milligrams (mg) and work your way up in quarter-gram increments until you
get the desired effect.

Herbal Teas - ​The 6 Best Bedtime Teas That Help You Sleep
(or How to get to sleep when you cant)

1. Chamomile… For years, chamomile tea has been used as a natural remedy
to reduce inflammation, decrease anxiety and treat insomnia. ...

2. Valerian Root… Valerian is an herb that has been used for centuries to treat
problems like insomnia, nervousness and headaches. ​This is an herbal
remedy used to treat sleep problems.

The National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health states that there
aren't enough medical studies to back up claims that valerian helps with insomnia.
Valerian appears to be safe for short-term use. It may cause mild side effects,
including: Tiredness the morning after use; Headaches; Dizziness; Stomachache

Lavender ... In ancient times, Greeks and Romans would often add lavender
to their drawn baths and breathe in the calming fragrance. Many people
drink lavender tea to relax, settle their nerves and aid sleep.

A study in 80 Taiwanese postnatal women showed that those who took time to
smell the aroma and drink lavender tea daily for two weeks reported less fatigue,
compared to those who did not drink lavender tea…

Additionally, another study in 67 women with insomnia found reductions in heart

rate, heart rate variability and improvements in sleep after 20 minutes of lavender
inhalation twice weekly for 12 weeks. Research has also shown that lavender may
decrease anxiety and improve sleep quality in people with anxiety or
anxiety-related disorders​.

Lemon Balm... ​This citrus-scented, aromatic herb has been used for reducing
stress and improving sleep since the Middle Ages.

Evidence shows that lemon balm increases GABA levels in mice, indicating that
lemon balm may act as a sedative (​16​).
Furthermore, one human study showed a 42% reduction in insomnia symptoms
after participants received 600 mg of lemon balm extract per day for 15 days (​17​).
If you chronically experience sleep problems, sipping lemon balm tea before bed
may help.

Passionflower.... T
​ raditionally, it has been used to alleviate anxiety and
improve sleep.

More recently, studies have examined the ability of passionflower tea to improve
insomnia and sleep quality.
For example, one study in 40 healthy adults found that those who drank
passionflower tea daily for a week reported significantly better sleep quality,
compared to participants who did not drink the tea .
Another study compared passionflower in conjunction with valerian root and hops
to Ambien, a medication commonly prescribed to treat insomnia.
Results showed that the passionflower combination was as effective as Ambien at
improving sleep quality. So now you know how to get to sleep in 5 minutes.

Magnolia Bar….​Magnolia is a flowering plant that has been around for over
100 million years.

Magnolia tea is made mostly from the bark of the plant but also consists of some
dried buds and stems.
Traditionally, magnolia was used in Chinese medicine for various symptoms,
including abdominal discomfort, nasal congestion and stress relief.
It is now regarded worldwide for its anti-anxiety and sedative effects.
Its sedative effect is likely attributed to the compound honokiol, which is found in
abundance in the stems, flowers and bark of the magnolia plant.
Honokiol purportedly works by modifying GABA receptors in your brain, which
may increase sleepiness.

In several studies in mice, magnolia or honokiol extracted from the magnolia plant
decreased the time it took to fall asleep and increased the amount of sleep .
While further research is needed to confirm these effects in humans, preliminary
research suggests that drinking magnolia bark tea may help improve sleep.

Aromatherapy​: The use of fragrances and essences from plants to affect or alter a
person's mood or behavior and to facilitate physical, mental, and emotional
well-being. The chemicals comprising essential oils in plants has a host of
therapeutic properties and has been used historically in Africa, Asia, and India. Its
greatest application is in the field of alternative medicine. (From Random House
Unabridged Dictionary, 2d ed; from Dr. Atiba Vheir, Dove Center, Washington,
D.C.). Source: MeSH 2007

The suggestion would be using the organic herbs listed above as essential oils in an
aromatherapy diffuser to relax you and help you fall asleep.

Hypnosis. ​You can use self-hypnosis to give yourself a post-hypnotic suggestion

to fall asleep with a particular made up word or unusual name. The publishers of
this eBook have created another eBook: ​Self-Hypnosis & The Power of Post
Hypnotic Suggestion ​for you to learn how to use this technique.

Relaxation techniques: Progressive muscle relaxation involving tensing and

un-tensing different muscles in the body to help calm the body. Meditation
techniques, mindfulness training, breathing exercises, and guided imagery can also
help in this area. Audio recordings are available that can help a person fall asleep at
night. ​Listen to relaxation CDs — Some people find the sound of white noise or
nature sounds, such as the ocean or forest, to be soothing for sleep.
Sleep in ​complete darkness​, or as close to it as possible — Even the tiniest bit of
light in the room, such as that from a clock radio LCD screen, can disrupt your
internal clock and your production of melatonin and serotonin, thereby interfering
with your sleep (and raising your risk of cancer).

it's not always easy to block out every stream of light using curtains, blinds or
drapes, particularly if you live in an urban area (or if your spouse has a different
schedule than you do) or you can’t practically remove all sources of electronic
light. In these cases, an eye mask can be helpful.

Shut OFF The Technology

The annual ​Sleep in America ​poll by the ​National Sleep Foundation​, released
suggests the cause of insomnia is the widespread use of electronics at night. ​Set a
"bedtime alarm" 45 to 60 minutes before your bedtime as a reminder to turn off all
electronics and begin to wind down.

About 95% of people use some type of electronics in the hour before bed, whether
it's watching TV, surfing the internet, playing video games or texting.
The youngest generation of adults, Gen Y'ers (19 to 29 year olds), are the biggest
users of interactive electronics, like cell phones and the internet. They are more
than eight times as likely as baby boomers (46 to 64 year olds) to text in the hour
before bedtime--52% of them texted compared to 5% of boomers.

About 19% of respondents sent or received work related emails before bed.

Keep the temperature in your bedroom no higher than 70 degrees F —

Studies show between 60 to 68 degrees F is the optimal room temperature for
sleep. Keeping your room cooler or hotter can lead to restless sleep. Your body's
internal temperature drops to its lowest level, typically about 4 hours after you fall

Scientists believe a cooler bedroom may therefore be most conducive to sleep,

since it mimics your body's natural temperature drop. If you don't want to drop the
temperature on your air conditioning, sleeping naked may do the trick.
Alternatively, wear socks to bed ​— Feet often feel cold before the rest of the body
because they have the poorest circulation. At least one study has shown that
wearing socks to bed reduces night waking. As an alternative, you could place a
hot water bottle near your feet at night.
One of the established benefits of sleeping in the buff is improved sleep quality, in
part by preventing overheating. One study showed a surface skin temperature
difference of as little as 0.08 degrees F (or 0.4 degrees C) led to sounder sleep.
Studies have also found sleeping in the nude has several other health benefits,
including improved metabolism and blood circulation.

Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT) — Most people can learn the

basics of this gentle tapping technique in a few minutes. EFT can help balance
your body's bioenergy system and resolve some of the emotional stresses that are
contributing to your insomnia at a very deep level. The results are typically long
lasting and improvement is remarkably rapid.

Manage Stress with Yoga, Tai Chi, Meditation.

Increase Your Natural Melatonin Levels ​by going outdoors in the sun for
at least 20 minutes per day.

Prescription & OTC Medications

When non-medicinal treatment is ineffective, drugs are available that can help
induce sleep. Some are available over-the-counter (OTC), and some are only
available with a valid prescription.
There is a wide range of available options, including:

● Benzodiazepines: ​Benzodiazepines commonly used for the treatment of

insomnia include quazepam (Doral), triazolam (Halcion), estazolam
(ProSom), temazepam (Restoril), flurazepam (Dalmane), and lorazepam

● N​on-benzodiazepine hypnotics​: ​Examples of non-benzodiazepines hypnotics

for Insomnia:

● Imidazopyridines: Ambien, Ambien CR, Intermezzo (Zolpidem) (class of its


● Sonata (pyrazolopyrimidine) (class of its own)

● melatonin receptor stimulator: Rozerem (ramelteon)

● Notec (chloral hydrate)

● Precedex (dexmedetomidine hydrochloride)

● Lunesta (eszopiclone); and

Melatonin receptor agonists: Medications such as ​Ramelteon
(Rozerem©), Agomelatine ​ ​(Valdoxan©), Circadin ​ ​(Circadin©),
TIK-301 and Tasimelteon (Hetlioz) are common melatonin receptor
agonists. Liver failure, renal failure, alcohol addiction and high lipid levels
are contraindications for melatonin agonists. High melatonin level is
associated with exercise-related menstrual disorders, oligospermia and
delayed puberty. Melatonin also suppresses the expression of estrogen
receptor and estrogen activation.

However, many people form a physical as well as a psychological dependency on

sleeping medications. ​Side effects of some prescription sleep medications may
include (in addition to the contraindications on the prescription inserts: Unusual
behaviors (driving, walking, or eating) while asleep; grogginess or drowsiness the
next day; Impaired driving the morning after taking ​sedatives​ and addiction
It is important to limit the dosage and try to use non-medicinal measures where

Conclusion. ​P​eople must prioritize their sleep and understand that it is as

important to their overall well being as diet and exercise. ​Sleep is an essential
component of health, and its timing, duration, and quality are critical determinants
of health. Sleeping is a basic human need, like eating, drinking, and breathing.
Numerous studies have proven that sleep plays an important role in metabolic
regulation, blood pressure, appetite, emotion regulation, ​immunologic function and
development of mood disorders​, ​performance, memory consolidation, brain
recuperation processes, concentration, impulsiveness, reaction to outside stimulus,
and learning.

Thus, getting adequate sleep is a necessity, not a luxury.


Sleepfaring: The Secrets and Science of a Good Night's Sleep
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. ​Research on Drowsy Driving External​.
Accessed October 20, 2015.

Sleep or die -- growing body of research warns of heart attacks, strokes.

Sleep: 10 Symptoms of Sleep Deprivation

10 Surprising Signs You’re Sleep-Deprived
Raising Awareness of Sleep as a Healthy Behavior/ Geraldine S. Perry, DrPH, RDN; Susheel P.
Patil, MD, PhD; Letitia R. Presley-Cantrell, PhD
What's to know about sleep deprivation?

Signs You Aren’t Getting Enough Sleep

11 Signs You're Sleep Deprived,,20906153,00.html

Most Common Symptoms of Sleep Deprivation

Sleep Deprivation Test (Self-Assessment)

The Effects of Sleep Deprivation on Your Body
Sleep Habits: More Important Than You Think

The Effects of Sleep Deprivation
Sleep deprivation/​ ​
What's to know about sleep deprivation?

Sleep Deprivation and Deficiency

What Happens in Your Body When You’re Sleep Deprived?
Sleep and mental health/
To the brain, sleep deprivation is 'like drinking too much'

How Dangerous Is Sleep Deprivation, Really?

Sleep Deprivation and Depression

Sleep deprivation: Impact on cognitive performance

How sleep deprivation affects your physical and mental health
Lack of sleep effects/​ ​
Cheating Ourselves of Sleep

Dream Deprivation: How Loss of REM Sleep Impacts Health and Learning

Sleep Health

An epidemic of dream deprivation: Unrecognized health hazard of sleep loss

10 Top Treatments to Help Avoid Sleepiness When Sleep Deprived
Sleep and Health

Sleep deprivation may lead to DNA damage: Study

Sleep deprivation: Know whether it’s a performance problem or a disability.

Treatments for Sleep deprivation

Sleep Deprivation: Symptoms, Causes, Treatments
How to Sleep Better/​ ​
Sleep Deprivation: The Surprising Causes and Solutions

Top 33 Tips to Optimize Your Sleep Routine

10 Top Treatments to Help Avoid Sleepiness When Sleep Deprived

Get Some Sleep! Sleep Deprivation Causes + 6 Natural Treatments

8 Natural Remedies That May Help You Sleep,,20306715,00.html
Insomnia Treatments/​ ​
Drugs to Treat Insomnia/​ ​
Over-the-Counter Sleep Medications

The 6 Best Bedtime Teas That Help You Sleep
Natural Sleep Solutions/​ ​

A Review of Melatonin, Its Receptors and Drugs.
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