The danger of not getting enough sleep

The fact that sleep for a person is of vital importance, doctors began to think for a long time, but specific studies were carried out only at the end of the 19th century.

In 1896, three volunteers stayed awake for 90 hours. In the end, one of them started hallucinations.

Then, in the 1960s, a series of studies was conducted in which volunteers stopped sleeping for a week. The volunteers endured the first day quite well. The third group noted difficulties in performing tasks requiring intellectual activity; monotonous and monotonous actions drawn the subjects into sleep, they were quick-tempered, irritated; stimuli were needed to stay awake. Fourth day: there can be no question of maintaining attention, the ability to concentrate, solving problems, hallucinations and illusions appear. Fifth day: delusional states are possible, intellectual abilities are sharply limited. Sixth day: sleep deprivation psychosis; people lose touch with reality. For a number of volunteers, the psyche did not recover even after sleep.

For the third time, they returned to the problem of lack of sleep at the beginning of the 21st century, when the growth of psychological and psychiatric disorders began to be noted around the world. Problems arose not only in adults, but also in adolescents, and many patients mentioned a common phenomenon – lack of sleep.

Typical causes of sleep deficit in young people are considered to be a busy school / university program and at the same time a desire to do something for themselves. Mature, adults, as a leading factor, note the pace of life, the desire to achieve material wealth.

There is a false opinion in society that you can work hard for 5-6 days, after which you can sleep off on the weekend. Alas, nature provides that the body should get the sleep it needs every day. This need is embedded in the circadian rhythm of the body (cyclical fluctuations in the intensity of various biological processes associated with the change of day and night).

Most healthy people need about 8 hours of sleep a night. Others need less time, others need 9-hour or longer sleep. The main thing is that if the brain does not get the time it needs in order to get rest, the whole body begins to suffer. In relation to such cases, the term “sleep deficit (deprivation)” is used. What are the consequences of not getting enough sleep? The brain is the first to suffer from lack of sleep, so all disorders are referred to as neurophysiological disorders. The detrimental effect of sleep deprivation affects virtually all organs and systems of the body: * musculoskeletal system – muscles; * exteroception – problems with the perception of the surrounding world; * cognitive abilities – memory, thinking, attention; * neurotrophic disorders, in particular – from the skin; * metabolic disorders – obesity, type 2 diabetes mellitus (metabolic syndrome); * endocrine (hormonal) changes; *the cardiovascular system; * disorders of the immune system; * pathological phenomena from the side of the brain structures. When and what pathology will develop in this or that person, it is impossible to say. Musculoskeletal System An increase in muscle tone (more mimic) and tremors can be noted. The function of balance suffers – the gait becomes unsteady. In general, the signs are somewhat similar to Parkinson’s disease, which confirms the role of sleep in dopamine / melatonin metabolism. Abnormal phenomena increase with the accumulation of fatigue, intensify with closed eyes. Exteroceptive disorders The visual analyzer suffers: the image is not perceived accurately by the retina, the colors fade. Double vision may occur, the formation of tunnel vision. The appearance of visual illusions is not excluded. Skin sensitivity abnormalities (numbness or tenderness in specific areas of the body) are common. Hearing disorders are rare, and temperature sensitivity does not often suffer. Cognitive skills The time required for making decisions increases, the percentage of errors increases. Speech becomes impoverished, repetitions and clichés appear in it. As fatigue builds up, people lose the ability to build coherent sentences. Reasoning becomes stereotyped, flexibility of thinking suffers, the ability to plan one’s actions is narrowed. Neurotrophic skin disorders Characterized by hair loss, longer healing of even minor injuries. The skin can become sensitive to light and cosmetic ingredients. Metabolic disorders In the case of chronic lack of sleep, the feeling of hunger begins to prevail. This situation occurs against the background of a decrease in the appetite-suppressing hormone leptin and an increase in the level of its antagonist, ghrelin. In addition to suppressing appetite, leptin also stimulates energy metabolism. So its deficiency against the background of an increase in ghrelin leads to obesity, impaired glucose tolerance. This mechanism is considered to be the leading one in the development of obesity in adolescents. Moreover, the rate of increase in body weight is lower for those who can afford to sleep longer in the morning. In adults, there has been a direct link between lack of sleep and cholesterol levels with triglycerides, which leads to obesity. On average, for 6 years of lack of sleep, the risk of gaining 5 kg of excess weight reaches 35% (compared to those who sleep as much as necessary). Endocrine (hormonal) changes More or less objective research has been carried out in relation to thyroid hormones (which, in particular, directly regulate the metabolism of the whole body). With chronic sleep deprivation, there is a noticeable decrease in the level of thyroxine and triiodothyronine. A similar pattern is observed against the background of depression, which suggests a connection between sleep deficit and the development of such a disorder.

In parallel with the thyroid gland, the work of the endocrine structures of the brain is disrupted. In particular, the exchange of adrenocorticotropic hormone changes, which increases the level of the stress hormone (cortisol).
There is reason to believe that sleep deprivation causes anomalies in growth hormone synthesis, which is of particular importance for adolescents.

Cardiovascular system

Both adults and adolescents who sleep little are at risk for arterial hypertension. Mature people are prone to the development of atherosclerosis, myocardial infarction. And young people are more likely to experience arrhythmias and a high body mass index (obesity).

Brain The

variety of possible disorders does not allow us to state them even in an overview. Let’s just say that there is, in fact, not a single part of the brain that does not suffer from sleep deficit.
By accumulating fatigue, you not only harm yourself, but also create a danger for others, as there are many professions that require concentration and attention. For example, drivers, on whose reaction and the correctness of the decisions made, the health and life of their passengers and pedestrians depends.

If you have trouble sleeping, do not delay contacting a specialist!

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