The name used to describe the condition where someone is severely deprived of sleep, see also: lack of sleep.

A condition suffered by only the poorest of souls, especially those with young siblings who can't seem to use the printer without your assistance.

May be the result of insomnia, or an addiction to noding.

Treatment may be one of the following:

- Sleeping pills of some sort, which force you into a state of unconciousness.
- Being hit over the head with a large club, which will also force you into a state of unconciousness.
- Ear plugs, they make the world a better place.
Though staying up all night writing or coding can be really cool and productive, and though often you literally have no choice in the matter, making a habit out of depriving yourself of sleep is a really bad idea.

Sleep deprivation causes (among many other really nasty things) irritability, forgetfulness, headache, and a major reduction your ability to concentrate. Furthermore, it can cause really nasty depression (trust me, I know).

"That is all well and good," you say, "but by depriving myself of sleep, at the very worst, I can only hurt myself." Not true. Sleep deprivation can also be dramatically detrimental to your judgement and ability to make decisions. It's blamed for about 200,00 traffic accidents every year, and it has been noted as a major factor in the accidents with the Exxon Valdez, Three Mile Island, and the Challenger space shuttle.

So if you won't sleep for yourself, at least please don't drive, operate oil tankers, manage nuclear power plants, or be on the teams managing space shuttles when you're suffering from sleep deprivation.

If you lose a little sleep, then you're just tired. If you miss an entire night's sleep then you can expect to have reduced attention span, trouble with your short term memory such as forgetting what your doing. Most obviously, longer term lack of sleep can lead to tremors in limb extremities and twitching of muscles. Taking a more physiological point of view, chronic partial lack of sleep can lead to reduced capacity in processing and storing carbohydrates and to regulate hormone secretion. A study at University of Chicago Medical centre showed that subjects ability to process and produce insulin was severely reduced (30% down), similar to the response of patient with early stages of diabetes. The study also saw other symptoms similar to those of old age. They concluded that sleep loss could both hasten the onset and increase the severity of age related diseases.

In another study, a 17 year old volunteer went without sleep for 264 hours, he was the best performer in a group of subjects. He was also one of the youngest in the study (there's the age thing again). This particular study looked at things like sleep patterns and behaviour among other things. They noted that sleep deprivation can lead to irritability, blurred vision, slurring of speech, memory lapse and confusion concerning the subject's own identity, generally, fatigue and loss of concentration. After 5 to 10 days of of continuous sleep deprivation, brief hallucinations occured along with episodes of unusual behaviour. The short term effects were such the the subject might have done himself an injury had he not been observed constantly. Subjects might also lapse into "microsleep".
In tasks that involve responding to a stimulus, subjects tended to do worse than when performing "self-paced" tasks. Subjects often suffered errors of omission associated with microsleep. Any lapses in concentration after mild loss of sleep can be compensated for with extra effort.

Longterm effects
In rats, long term sleep deprivation has been known to cause debilitation and death. In humans, experimentation has not pointed to any adverse effects on intellect or physical wellbeing. This might be due to the fact that sleep loss studies have been limited in length and since proving such effects could be "unpleasant" morally. Any psychosis that appeared after recovery of the 17 year old subject seem be in stages of development anyway.

What can cause sleep deprivation?
Excess consumption of caffeine, usually coffee. Other stimulants like speed, redbull, certain prescription drugs. Illness such as insomnia or hyposomnia. Teething babies is another good one.

Cures? Sleep!

If you have anything to add or something is inaccurate, /msg me.

Sources of info.,5722,117529,00.html

   I'm tired. A statement both said and heard by many each day, especially among students like myself. I, like many of my colleagues, have this bad tendency to stay up late. Sure, it's for a reason -- in my case usually to read a book, which is often interrupted by ICQ, but regardless I have had a tendency to stay up late in the past. A tendency that I've now decided to break. Why? Well... because I'm tired.

   Sleep deprivation has been used as a weapon. It was used as torture during World War II, and is still used as a modern day torture. Now think about this for a moment: sleep deprivation is torture. Yet we, daily, continue to deprive ourselves of sleep. To sleep for only 6 hours, or 4 hours, or even 2 hours. And why? For the sake of having a bit more time to ourselves? To be able to read some more? To have more time on ICQ? Sleep is not an addiction -- it is a necessity.

   Sleep deprivation is a powerful form of torture. Few people (though this does not mean none) actually die from it, however it weakens the victim both mentally and physically. After prolonged sleep deprivation a person's personality and life outlook changes completely. Why would we do this to ourselves?! Common effects of sleep deprivation on a lesser scale include depression, heart disease, difficulty with social relations, etc, etc, etc, and most importantly, decreased productivity. That's right, the number one reason people stay up late at night, of getting work done, is completely self-defeating. When you are tired you work poorly, and by not getting sufficient sleep, you create a vicious cycle which will result in you accomplishing less the next day, which will result in you staying up late to finish your work.... you see where I'm going?

   If you're interested in sleep deprivation then you can do more research than I have, or read the node on it. Few experiments into sleep deprivation have been conducted during peacetime simply because the effects can be long term or permanent, but the general consensus is that it is very bad. Anyways, I for one will be getting a good nights sleep tonight.

The most universal disease, I think everyone has had it at some point or other in their lives, and if not then they really haven't lived. After all, the days hours are good for work, but the night is to play in.

Seriously though, I used to be an insomniac, and after four months of sleep lack, bags under my eyes, and just coming off my addiction to sleeping pills, I decided enough was enough, and to teach my body a lesson it would never forget. Please note that, if EVER you have any thoughts along the same lines, please stop and wash your mind out with minted soap. Trust me.

But anyway, I decided that I would stay awake as long as possible. No biggie, since my body didn't want to sleep nights anyway, I figured with a little caffiene boost I could stay awake 5 out of 6 nights, and hopefully rest okay on the last.

I managed 8 days.

By the end of it I was a gibbering wreck, hallucinations, lack of strength awareness, I didn't know how hard I was pushing or pulling, loss of balance, everything going grey, irritability, and the exhaustion, my lord I was tired, and when I finally gave in and collapsed, I slept for nearly two days and awoke feeling like the world was my friend. Since then I haven't really had any problems sleeping, I just have to nudge my mind back to that hell week, and all of a sudden I feel drowsy (yawn). I had better go, I feel all sleepy...

How much sleep do I need?

The amount of sleep a person needs to have each night to keep them alert and restore their body differs hugely with their age. 

Infants have an overall greater total sleep time than any other age group. A newborn's total sleep duration in one day is usually between 14 and 16 hours, although this is broken into many short sleeps. 

Over the first 6 months or so of life, infants' sleep requirements change substantially, and by the fifth or sixth month of life most infants will have one main sleep at night and a shorter sleep period during the day.

Pre-adolescent children require about 9 hours of sleep overall, whereas most teenagers and young adults require at least ten hours for full physical replenishment. It should be noted that recent studies have found that not only do teenagers require more sleep than adults or younger children, they require it at different times of the day. There is evidence that the natural time for a teenager or young adult to begin sleeping is much later than at any other point in their life, at 11pm or later. 

Adults seem to need about 8 to eight and a half hours of sleep per night.

I don't get that much sleep, but I feel fine.

Perhaps you are fine. But perhaps you are just fooling yourself. 

The Epworth Sleepiness Scale was designed for people to test themselves to see whether they might be suffering from sleep deprivation. Give each activity a score based on how likely you would be to doze during it.

0 = Would never doze 
1 = Slight chance of dozing 
2 = Moderate chance of dozing 
3 = High chance of dozing

A score of greater than 10 is a definite cause for concern as it indicates significant excessive daytime sleepiness. 

What happens if I don't get enough sleep?

Our sleep patterns are set by an internal clock referred to as a circadian clock, which regulates body temperature, hormone levels, heart rate and other vital body functions. When a person suffers from chronic sleep deprivation, these functions soon become impaired. A person in this state is also likely to have their mood, memory and concentration levels affected. 

Some of the effects of sleep deprivation are:

With decreased sleep, higher-order cognitive tasks are affected early and disproportionately. Tests requiring both speed and accuracy demonstrate considerably slowed speed before accuracy begins to fail. 

Why does it happen?

Of course, the most common cause of sleep deprivation is simply not sleeping enough due to being too busy or  having your sleep interrupted,  particularly for parents of infants, shift workers and people who travel a lot.

Some of the other causes of sleep deprivation are?

What can I do about it?

If you are suffering from sleep deprivation, try to rearrange your schedule to allow you a little more sleep. Ensure your sleeping place is a restful one with a comfortable mattress, good air circulation and protection from unwanted light and noise.

If practicable, have a short sleep during the afternoon (between 2pm and 6pm is best, as the body is at a naturally low ebb during this time).

An article in the Psychiatric Times states that today most people (esp. youth) get between 7-7.5 hours of sleep. Before the advent of the light bulb, people slept and average of 9-10 hours a day. This means that annually, people are sleeping about 500 hours less than they should.

As stated above, sleep deprivation has serious side-effects.

Causes of Sleep Deprivation:

  • Not allowing enough time for sleep
  • Sleep disorders (apnea, insomnia, Nocturnal myoclonus, narcolepsy, parasomnia)
  • Excessive worry, depression
  • Repeated awakenings from noise or other disturbances
  • Working at night, travel across time zones
  • Medical illness causing pain, difficulty breathing, etc.
  • Intentional deprivation for training purposes (religious reasons, military training)
  • Some medications/drugs

Symptoms of Sleep Deprivation over time:
Ammended list from Psychiatric Times

  • Day 2:Difficulty focusing eyes and signs of astereognosis (difficulty recognizing objects only by touch).
  • Day 3:Moodiness, some signs of ataxia (inability to repeat simple tongue twisters).
  • Day 4:Irritability and uncooperative attitude, memory lapses and difficulty concentrating. Beginnings of hallucinations.
  • Day 5:More hallucinations
  • Day 6: Speech slowing and difficulty naming common objects.
  • Day 7 and 8:Irritability, speech slurring and increased memory lapses.
  • Day 9:Episodes of fragmented thinking; frequently beginning, but not finishing, sentences.
  • Day 10:Paranoia
  • Day 11:Expressionless appearance, speech slurred and without intonation. Short attention span, diminished mental abilities, problems focusing on activities.
These symptoms where observed in Randy Gardner in 1964, when he entered the Guiness Book of World Records for the longest period remaining awake. His symptoms have been shown to be similar to others who have remained awake for many days.

Long Term Effects and Dangers of Sleep Deprivation

Driver Fatigue: According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, over 100,000 automobile accidents a year are caused by driver fatigue: a number that includes over 1,550 dead and 71,000 injured. Accidents caused by tired drivers may actually be much higher: determining whether fatigue played a role in a crash is difficult. Researchers in Austraila have determined that people who operated vehicles after 17-19 hours without sleep where worse than people who operated vehicles with a blood alcohol level of .05 (the legal limit in most of Europe).

Impaired Glucose Tolerance: Tests done at the University of Chicago show that sleeping shortages alter the body's ability to regulate glucose and produce insulin, mimicking the symptoms of impaired glucose tolerance. After a week of sleep deprivation, otherwise healthy test subjects took forty percent longer than normal to regulate blood sugar levels. Both insulin production and the body's response to insulin fell to thirty percent below normal. After rest, most test subjects returned to normal levels, but it is believed that over time, this symptom could lead to diabetes, obesity and hypertension.

Other Problems: Researchers on sleep are still unsure of exactly why we need sleep. It has been reported that sleep and brainwave functions are closely related. Lack of sleep effects your memory, has been shown to lower testosterone levels.

Getting More Restful Sleep

The Natinal Sleep Foundation offers many suggestions for improving your sleeping:

  • Consume less or no caffeine and avoid alcohol.
  • Drink less fluids before going to sleep.
  • Avoid heavy meals before bedtime.
  • Avoid nicotine
  • Exercise regularly, but do so in the daytime, preferably after noon.
  • Try a relaxing routine, like soaking in hot water (a hot tub or bath) before bedtime.
  • Establish a regular bedtime and waketime schedule.
  • Sleep in a cool room. Hot rooms can disturb sleeping, causing more awakenings and lighter sleep.
  • Sleep at night. The body is regulated by an internal clock, the most powerful regulator of this internal clock is sunlight.
  • Sleep in a quiet environment (earplugs can help)
  • If you have consistent trouble sleeping, consult a specialist.

Psychiatric Times:
Sleep Deprivation:
National Ag Safety Database

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