Health Effects of Chronic Sleep Deprivation

GettyImages_122467628Sleeping too few hours or achieving poor quality sleep each night can dramatically affect your health, performance and safety. There are several causes of sleep deprivation, including sleep disorders, stresses of everyday life and the nature of your job. For example, if you drive a commercial truck for a living, then you may find that traveling across the country for long periods of time results in sleep deprivation and subsequent driver fatigue.

Decreased Performance

According to WebMD, reducing your sleep by just one and half hours can result in 32 percent reduction in daytime alertness. In turn, this reduction in performance and alertness can impair your memory and cognitive ability. As a result, you may find it more difficult to think and process information.

Occupational Injury

Especially if you operate machinery or a motor vehicle for a living, sleep deprivation can increase your risk of suffering a workplace injury. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that driver fatigue results in at least 100,000 automobile accidents, 71,000 injuries and 1,550 fatalities, as reported by WebMD. Meaning that if you operate a truck for a living, you carry an even higher risk of suffering an accident due to truck driver fatigue. If you work in an industrial setting, then diminished cognitive ability can also increase your chances of suffering a serious accident with a piece of workplace machinery.

Poor Quality of Life

Chronic sleep deprivation means you are unable to participate in activities that require attention. Meaning, everyday activities like watching a movie or seeing a child’s play can become difficult. At the same time, your sleep issues may cause significant problems in your relationship, as you and your partner may need to establish separate problems to combat the moodiness and conflicts arising from sleep disruption.

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