One of these problems is depression and if you take a moment to understand just how severe sleep deprivation can be, it will make perfect sense why depression is a common consequence.
When people do not get a full night of sleep, their body realizes that it must conserve the little energy that it has.
The energy is therefore used to maintain important internal functions like heart beat, cognition (and even, cognition is among the first internal functions to go once sleep deprivation becomes severe), as well as other functions we take for granted in our day-to-day routines.
With a lack of energy, a lot of people will lack the enthusiasm they need to get through their day.
This alone can push some into mild depression but is usually not the sole reason why some will become depressed.
In fact, some of the contributors to depression as a result of sleep deprivation are: - Poor diet.
A poor diet that fails to energize the body and allow it to burn unnecessary carbs and sugars will further deplete energy levels and leave you feeling drained.
This drained feeling will compound and lead to mild depression by itself.
- Poor decision making.
Without proper sleep, making the proper decisions becomes increasingly more difficult.
When we make poor decisions we often have to work harder at fixing the consequences which leaves us feeling like we are "spinning our wheels" or getting nowhere.
- Chronic fatigue.
It does not take much time before sleep deprivation escalates and the body's immune system begins to shut down.
Chronic fatigue may ensue, leaving you feeling tired even after a night of 10-hour sleep.
This compounds to the point where all you want to do is sleep.
- Other illnesses.
Without proper sleep, our bodies have a tough time fighting viruses and other illnesses.
This results in our need for constant rest.
While we spend so much time resting, we miss out on the activities and socializing that normally bring us happiness and joy.
Clearly, none of these consequences of sleep deprivation are likely to result in depression on their own.
In fact, it will usually be a combination of the many different consequences that become too much for us to handle and, before long, we will find ourselves locked in the grips of depression.
The easiest way to ensure you avoid depression is to make sure you are getting the right amount and quality of sleep.
That means setting aside enough hours every night to get the rest you need to feel refreshed and energized the next morning.
As well, it means sleeping in a comfortable bed (not the couch or train) for these straight hours of uninterrupted sleep.