How Sleep Deprivation Can Cause You to Become Depressed

Tommy Zimmer
Tommy Zimmer 4 Min Read

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), over one-third of US adults do not get enough sleep.

This is crazy to think about. However, sleep deprivation is a real thing, and it’s leading to some difficult realities. The Economist has found there are larger numbers of people, especially older folks, working longer in advanced economies. The states that are the most sleep-deprived are Hawaii and South Dakota. Wayne Giles, M.D., the director of the CDC’s Division of Population Health, said this is an overly concerning trend.

“As a nation, we are not getting enough sleep,” Giles said. “Lifestyle changes such as going to bed at the same time each night; rising at the same time each morning; and turning off or removing televisions, computers, mobile devices from the bedroom, can help people get the healthy sleep they need.”

While older adults seem more resilient to this (likely because they are used to it), this is not the case with young children and adults. It’s simply not something they are used to going through. If you are receiving less sleep, it can lead to a myriad of difficulties such as a lowered perception of quality of life, obesity, daytime sleepiness, and poor job performance. 

When you are deprived of sleep, your normal attention function is altered. The ability to focus on environmental stimuli becomes altered and it becomes difficult. If you have a lack of sleep, it could lead to such tragic events that involve automobiles, trains, ships, or airplanes. While this can be a symptom of an undiagnosed sleep disorder and an indication you might be accumulating a sleep debt, it also is indicative of mental difficulties that will make themselves known. These can include the following:

  • Depression
  • Irritability
  • Forgetfulness
  • Difficulty Learning New Concepts

UCLA study discovered that sleep deprivation causes some of your brain cells to stop communicating with one another. This can lead to the effects that could be destructive for your life. Your cognitive skills might decline too as time goes on. It might be a clever idea to look for a moonlight clock. With soothing ambient sounds to fall asleep too, it may help to help you fall asleep as well as wake you up properly. This might be the key to all your difficulties.

While sleep deprivation is a big issue for young adults and teenagers, this problem can manifest itself in adults too because of demanding jobs, shift work, or family obligations. If you wake up early, go to bed late, or have consistent nighttime arousals, this could lead to more sleep debt and deprivation as a result. While drugs are available to help one fall asleep, a moonlight clock could prove easier for you overall than becoming dependent on a drug, prescription or over the counter. 

Sleep deprivation may never go away in your life if you work. It’s a natural part of life for the adult population to get less sleep during the week, should they stay late at the office or wake up early to avoid traffic going to work. This can be even more difficult if one has kids and a home life. Should your sleep disorder by indicative of something deeper, you may wish to see a doctor. There are available to help you. Try to always get as much sleep as possible. You never know when you will need it.

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Tommy Zimmer is a writer whose work has appeared online and in print. His work covers a variety of topics, including politics, economics, health and wellness, consumer electronics, and the entertainment industry.