The Comprehensive Guide to Sleep Deprivation: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment: Chapter 50

Chapter 5

Causes of Sleep Deprivation

The Comprehensive Guide to Sleep Deprivation: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment – Yoo HealthThe Comprehensive Guide to Sleep Deprivation: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment – Yoo Health

When sleep deprivation occurs, it is because the person has not been able to get a healthy amount of sleep in order to function properly. Before we get into the specific causes, here is a quick and handy list for the recommended amount of sleep a person needs according to their age:

  • Newborns (0 to 3 months): 14 to 17 hours each day
  • Infants (4 to 11 months): 12 to 15 hours
  • Toddlers (1 to 2 years): 11 to 14 hours
  • Preschoolers (3 to 5 years): 10 to 13 hours
  • School-age children (6 to 13 years): 9 to 11 hours
  • Teenagers (14 to 17 years): 8 to 10 hours
  • Adults (18 to 64 years): 7 to 9 hours
  • Older adults (over 65 years): 7 to 8 hours

Now, for the causes of sleep deprivation, for which there are many. First, you have the group of people (we all know one) that consider sleep as wasted time, and so they deprive themselves of it on purpose so that they can get on with other tasks like work, entertainment, assignments for school, or just chilling out. It’s not healthy, and intentional sleep deprivation is most commonly seen in teenagers and young adults.

On the other hand, there are those who unintentionally deprive themselves of sleep because they have demanding lives. Much of the time this is due to a job that has unreasonable overtime, family obligations, or shift work – which is a big player in the causes of sleep deprivation.

Consistently going to bed late and getting up late can cause sleep loss, as can frequently waking up in the night. Waking up too early can cause sleep debt that leads to deprivation as it accumulates over time. Additionally, conditions like depression and anxiety can cause a person to be unable to sleep well, or even at all.

Medical conditions, such as obstructive sleep apnea and hormone imbalances can cause sleep loss. There are also chronic conditions like ME/CFS that cause an excess of oversleeping because the body is almost constantly fatigued, often leading to a vicious cycle.

Tomorrow, come back here for Chapter 5: Treatment of Sleep Deprivation and sign up for Alaska Sleep Clinic’s blog.

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