What Are The Signs Of Sleep Deprivation?

Last Updated: JAN 16, 2024

Sleep deprivation affects many Australians, but it can be hard to tell if you’re actually sleep deprived or just feeling tired. There are a few signs that you can look out for that could indicate whether you’re getting enough sleep or not. In this article, we’ll discuss the different types of sleep deprivation, what causes it, and how to get better rest.

sleep deprivation

What Are the Signs of Sleep Deprivation?

Sleep deprivation can cause a variety of physical, cognitive, and emotional issues. The most common signs of sleep deprivation are:

  • Constant yawning
  • Falling asleep while doing things like reading/watching TV
  • Feeling groggy in the mornings
  • Low levels of concentration
  • Slowed thinking
  • Worsened memory
  • Lacking in energy and feeling fatigued
  • Mood swings including irritability
  • increased appetite or cravings for unhealthy foods
  • Weakened immune system
If you're experiencing any of these symptoms on a regular basis then it's likely that you're not getting enough sleep.

What are the Types of Sleep Deprivation

Sleep deprivation can be classified into two categories – acute and chronic. Acute sleep deprivation is when someone has been deprived of sleep for one night or a couple nights in a row while chronic sleep deprivation is when someone has been consistently deprived of adequate restful sleep over an extended period of time (months to years).

Chronic sleep deficiency is when someone consistently gets less than the recommended amount of quality restful sleep each night but does not necessarily experience acute episodes.

Is Sleep Deprivation Different From Insomnia?

Yes – although both conditions involve difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep as well as other associated symptoms such as fatigue during the day, there are some important differences between them.

Insomnia is typically caused by psychological issues such as stress or anxiety whereas sleep deprivation is usually caused by physical issues such as illness or medication side effects. Furthermore, insomnia usually requires more intensive treatment than simple lifestyle modifications whereas simple lifestyle modifications may be enough to treat mild cases of sleep deprivation.

What Causes Sleep Deprivation?

There are many potential causes for sleep deprivation including stress, depression/anxiety disorders, jet lag/shift work disorder/traveling across time zones frequently/working overnight shifts/working odd hours at night/pulling all-nighters regularly/drinking too much caffeine late in the day/taking certain medications that disrupt your natural circadian rhythm (the body’s internal clock).

Additionally, people with pre-existing medical conditions such as asthma or diabetes may find themselves more prone to developing chronic sleeping problems due to their condition(s). Therefore if you have any pre-existing medical condition it’s best to talk with your doctor about possible treatments for your condition(s) that may help reduce your risk for developing chronic sleeping problems.

Sleep deprivation is a major issue facing many Australians today and can have far reaching consequences for overall health and wellbeing if left untreated or unaddressed. It’s important to recognise the signs so that action can be taken early before more serious health complications arise from long-term lack of restful quality sleep. Read our tips on how to improve your sleep.

According to the Sleep Health Foundation, approximately one in three Australians have reported having symptoms of sleep deprivation. The research also found that women are more likely to experience poor sleep than men and that those aged 18-24 years were at the highest risk of sleep deprivation. Sources: Sleep Health Foundation, Australia .

If you think that you might be suffering from any type of sleeping disorder then speak with your doctor about possible treatments or lifestyle modifications that could help improve your quality of restful sleep each night! With some effort and dedication towards improving your sleeping habits you should soon be back on track towards enjoying good quality restful nights again.