Sleep deprivation and health problems caused

Sleep deprivation can result in at least 50 or more serious sleep disorders. The symptoms of sleep deprivation are many and varied. Serious and even fatal medical problems can be caused by lack of sleep.

A few of these symptoms can be aching muscles, clinical depression, decreased mental activity and concentration. Furthermore severe sleep deprivation can cause symptoms of
depersonalization/derealization, weakened immune system, hallucinations (visual and auditory), hypertension, psychosis-like symptoms, slowed reaction time, slurred and/or nonsensical speech, symptoms similar to: Attention-deficit Hyperactivity Disorder and alcoholic intoxication.

Now, go back and read the above paragraph one more time and perhaps you can understand the seriousness of going without sleep.

With a mobile society and millions of cars and trucks on the road, the fact that sleep depravation causes such profound affects on a person’s reaction time and could be the most serious symptom. Why? — because you are not only affecting your life but you could be the cause of a fatal auto accident.

“According to a 2000 study published in the British Medical Journal, researchers in Australia and New Zealand reported that sleep deprivation can have some of the same hazardous effects as being drunk.[16] People who drove after being awake for 17–19 hours performed worse than those with a blood alcohol level of .05 percent, which is the legal limit for drunk driving in most Western Europe countries (the U.S. and UK set their blood alcohol limits at .08 percent). According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, over 100,000 traffic accidents each year in the USA alone are caused by fatigue and drowsiness. A new study has shown that while total sleep deprivation for one night caused many errors, the errors were not significant until after the second night of total sleep deprivation.”

“A 1996 study by the University of Chicago Medical Center showed that sleep deprivation severely affects the human body’s ability to metabolize glucose, which can lead to early-stage Diabetes Type 2.[10]

A 2001 study at Chicago Medical Institute suggested that sleep deprivation may be linked to more serious diseases, such as heart disease and mental illnesses, such as psychosis and bipolar disorder.[citation needed] A 2003 University of California study found that REM sleep deprivation alleviates clinical depression. Although the mechanism is unclear it is suggested that the deprivation mimics the effects of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRI) however the study also indicated that REM sleep was essential for blocking neurotransmitters and allowing the neurotransmitter receptors to “rest” and regain sensitivity which in turn leads to improved regulation of mood and increased learning ability. Non REM sleep may allow enzymes to repair brain cell damage caused by free radicals. High metabolic activity while awake damages the enzymes themselves preventing efficient repair. The study observed the first evidence of brain damage in rats as a direct result of sleep deprivation.[12] Animal studies suggest that sleep deprivation increases stress hormones, which may reduce new cell production in adult brains.[13]”

Sleep deprivation is considered torture in some countries and has become a big debate in the United States and has been is used as an interrogation technique by coalition forces in Afghanistan and Iraq. Interrogation victims are kept awake for several days; when they are finally allowed to fall asleep; they are suddenly awakened and questioned. In the head of the interrogated prisoner, a haze begins to form. His spirit is wearied to death, his legs are unsteady, and he has one sole desire: to sleep… Anyone who has experienced this desire knows that not even hunger and thirst are comparable with it.

All references from Wikipedia