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Effects of Sleep Deprivation - Sleep Deprived Comas, Severe Hallucinations and More!

Updated on February 11, 2014

The Side Effects of Sleep Deprivation

We all know getting a full 8 hours of sleep is critical for a healthy, long life span, but just how much damage does sleep deprivation actually do?  Sleep deprivation is responsible for many of the major health problems in our country today including obesity, high blood pressure and even clinical depression.  Sleep deprivation in children can even cause symptoms of hyper activity and attention deficit disorder.

In this article I will cover the details of all of the major side effects of sleep deprivation, then finish by pointing you in the right direction of some tips to help you easily fall asleep and make sure you're getting a full, solid 8 hours of sleep each night.

- Sleep Deprived Coma

I put this first, because, even though it is the least likely to occur, it is by far the most serious side effect of sleep deprivation. The scientific name of the condition is called Fatal Familial Insomnia and it has the potential to put the sufferer into a deep coma that usually ends up resulting in death.

Sleep deprivation is nothing to mess around with. The other upcoming side effects of sleep deprivation are minor compared to this, but I just wanted to make it clear that when you go weeks on end working around the clock, never getting deep sleep, you risk death.

Side Effects of Sleep Deprivation - Frightening Hallucinations
Side Effects of Sleep Deprivation - Frightening Hallucinations

- Hallucinations

Another side effect of severe sleep deprivation is hallucinations. People have reported seeing demons in the mirror, under their closed eyelids, seeing their loved one's faces falling off, cockroaches in their food, horrifying entities and a lot of other things you really wouldn't want to experience. These hallucinations can get extreme enough to split your mind down the middle and push you over the edge into insanity, if you're not careful.

This is just one more reason to make sure you're getting a full night's sleep each night.

- Severe Depression

Studies have shown severe depression can emerge as a result of sleep deprivation. We're not talking about the mild depression we all face a couple times a week either. We're talking about hard core, life ruining depression here.

I remember when I worked graveyard shifts cleaning at Gold's Gym for a month, I started to develop major depression as a result of a lack of sleep. I would spend from midnight to 8 AM cleaning and when I came home it was too loud to sleep, because my brother and sister in law were living with us and their baby was always crying. I usually wouldn't be able to get to sleep no matter how hard I tried and, before I knew it, severe depression was starting to form in my mind.

Luckily when I quit working graveyards, the depression vanished and I was back to my normal self.

- Getting Sick All The Time

When your body is being deprived of sleep, the first thing to go is your immune system. Not having the energy to produce white blood cells, your body becomes weak and open to attack by all sorts of bacteria and viral scum in the area.

Not only does sleep deprivation cause you to get sick more often, but it also makes recovery from sickness take much, much longer. Instead of looking at one to two weeks to recover from the common flu, you'll be looking at two weeks to a month, in some cases.

Side Effects of Sleep Deprivation - Increase in Body Fat
Side Effects of Sleep Deprivation - Increase in Body Fat

- Increase In Body Fat

The final major side effect of sleep depravity is an increase in body fat, usually in the buttocks and around the abdominal section. This makes sense, considering the majority of fat burning the average person does is every night while they are sleeping. If you are taking serious cuts to your full 8 hours of healthy sleep a night, you can't expect your body to have time burn fat for you. Be prepared to see a major increase in body fat all over your entire body, if you plan on making sleep deprivation a part of your normal daily life.

How to Overcome Problems With Sleeping

If the above side effects of sleep deprivation scare you and you're having trouble sleeping, I wrote a separate article just for you. In this article, I lay out a number of effective and helpful tips to help you get to sleep.

If you would like to read my article called How to Sleep, please click the hyperlink below.

Click here.


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    • profile image

      Natia 3 years ago

      To add to the confusion: NPR rrtoeped the radiation burns came when they were dragging a damaged electrical wire through a puddle of contaminated water . How many red flags does that set up in your head?

    • rbm profile image

      rbm 5 years ago

      I had no idea sleep deprivation can cause the kind of sever hallucinations you described. Ugh!

      Interesting lens, voted up!

    • jaredbangerter profile image

      jaredbangerter 6 years ago from New York City

      Dang! I feel sorry for mothers who have that happen to them. Being a mom sounds like a hard, hard job when the children are just babies.

    • Temirah profile image

      Temirah 6 years ago

      Sleep is so important and something we take for granted until we can't get it! Yesterday I was listening to a lady on the radio who had been tipped into post natal depression because her baby wouldn't sleep and therefore she couldn't either. Voted up!

    • applecsmith profile image

      Carrie Smith 6 years ago from Dallas, Texas

      Very interesting hub, thanks for sharing. Voted up and useful!