SLEEP (3); Causes and Effects of Poor or Inadequate Sleep.

Your internal clock can be disrupted by factors such as nightshift work, traveling across time zones, or irregular sleeping patterns—leaving you feeling groggy, disoriented, and sleepy at inconvenient times. The production of melatonin can also be thrown off when you’re deprived of sunlight during the day or exposed to too much artificial light at night—especially the light from electronic devices, including TVs, computers, tables, and mobile phones.

Even if you’ve enjoyed a full night’s sleep, getting out of bed can be difficult if your alarm goes off when you’re in the middle of deep sleep (Stage N3). If you want to make mornings less painful—or if you know you only have a limited time for sleep—try setting a wake-up time that’s a multiple of 90 minutes, the length of the average sleep cycle. For example, if you go to bed at10 p.m., set your alarm for 5:30 (a total of 7 ½ hours of sleep) instead of 6:00 or 6:30. You may feel more refreshed at 5:30than with another 30 to 60 minutes of sleep because you’re getting up at the end of a sleep cycle when your body and brain are already close to wakefulness.

It’s not just the number of hours in bed that’s important—it’s the quality of those hours of sleep. Each stage of sleep in the sleep cycle offers benefits to the sleeper. However, deep sleep (Stage N3) and REM sleep are particularly important. A normal adult spends approximately 50% of total sleep time in Stage 2 sleep, 20% in REM sleep, and 30% in the remaining stages, including deep sleep.

The most damaging effects of sleep deprivation are from inadequate deep sleep. Deep sleep is a   time when the body repairs itself and builds up energy for the day ahead. It plays a major role in maintaining your health, stimulating growth and development, repairing muscles and tissues, and boosting your immune system. In order to wake up energized and refreshed, getting quality deep sleep is essential. 

1. Being woken up during the night
Sleep interruption is one of the major causes of sleep deprivation; some individuals are unable to resume sleep while others do so after a long time. The total sleep period for the night is therefore drastically reduced

2. Working night shifts or swing shifts.
A lot of people are on permanent night shift or alternate night and day; the brain on the other hand is programmed for sleep at night not during the day. Consequently those who do night shifts are sleep deprived.  

3. Smoking or drinking in the evening
Substances like alcohol and nicotine can disrupt deep sleep. It’s best to limit them before bed time. This also applies to some sedatives and sleeping medicine

4. Fatigue and lack of motivation. 
Poor sleep or lack of sleep is a known cause of fatigue; this could be in three forms: generalised weakness, when the person is not able to initiate physical activities; easy fatigability , when the person is unable to complete activities and mental fatigue , when the person finds it difficult to concentrate and has memory loss.

 5. Reduced immunity; 
Sleep deprivation is associated with reduced ability to fight diseases, consequently those who are sleep deprived suffer from frequent colds and other upper respiratory tract infections. Those who have little sleep frequently have running nostrils.

6. Concentration and memory problems, 
Poor sleep or lack of sleep reduces your ability to carry out physical activities with precision; if you are driving, there is increased risk of accident. Concentration is less and decisions are taken less quickly; someone who is sleep-deprived is less creative and finds it difficult to solve problems, to estimate distance. The person also has memory problems. 

7. Weight gain
Some of the effects of poor sleep include fatigue, lethargy and lack of motivation, these effects could make you go for sugary drinks to boost your energy; the excess energy could result in excess fat in the body. 
Sleep deprivation is also said to have direct link to overeating and weight gain; it is said to affect two hormones (chemicals) in your body that regulate normal feelings of hunger and fullness.

8. Increased risk of diabetes and heart disease.
Fatigue resulting from sleeplessness can drive the affected to take a lot of sugary energy drinks with the possible development overtime of excess sugar in the blood (diabetes) and its complications of heart disease and disease of the blood vessels. Lack of sleep is also associated with depression and bipolar disorders.

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