Sleep Deprivation: Causes, Symptoms and Treatments

Ensuring adequate sleep is key to safeguard our health and well-being and contributes to us feeling happy and productive. Despite this, it is estimated that many New Zealander’s are not getting enough sleep. Things like work obligations, poor sleep hygiene, sleep disorders and lifestyle choices are causing many people to feel sleep deprived.

Causes of Sleep Deprivation

Too busy for sleep

We lead busy lives and some may struggle to find the time for the recommended hours of sleep each night. At Sealy, we believe that sleep should be a priority, as is it an essential ingredient for overall health and well-being. We encourage people to view sleep as an important commitment that should not be missed — much like important dates in your calendar.

Screen time and phone use in bed

Screen time and phone use in bed can push bedtimes, before you even know it. We often don’t realise how much time is being spent on devices until we look at the clock and see how late it is. To combat this, we encourage ditching the phones and reclaiming the bed as a space just for sleep. Read more about our holistic sleep philosophy.

Feeling stressed

Many New Zealander’s have reported sleep deprivation due to stress. It is normal to feel stressed occasionally, but chronic stress can result in a range of problems, including sleep deprivation. Many people engage in meditation and exercise to lower stress levels in the evenings before bed. Check out our article on mindfulness activities to aid in relaxation before bed.

Poor sleep hygiene

Sleep hygiene is all about achieving a high quality of sleep each night. Having a consistent bedtime and wake time is key for sleep hygiene. Another way that we can practice good sleep hygiene is by making sure our bed is supportive and comfortable. Sleeping on a quality mattress, in a comfortable room at the right temperature, in a darkness level of your preference, will contribute significantly to the quality of your sleep.

Sleep disorders

Sleep disorders like sleep apnoea, narcolepsy and insomnia can make it difficult to achieve good quality sleep. Those struggling with these medical issues should consult their GP for advice on treating symptoms. We spoke with a clinical psychologist to further understand how insomnia can be triggered by stress during the day and how to reduce this stress. Find out more with our tips for sleeping soundly.

Symptoms of Sleep Deprivation

The most common symptom of sleep deprivation is feeling tired throughout the day. Other symptoms of sleep deprivation include:

·      Forgetfulness and memory loss
·      Reduced attention span
·      Low energy
·      Mood changes
·      Impaired decision making

Symptoms will vary depending on the severity of sleep deprivation. The symptoms can also be masked by caffeine, so ensure you note how you are feeling when you aren’t drinking coffee or other caffeinated beverages.

Treatment of Sleep Deprivation

If you suspect you are suffering from sleep deprivation, it is best to consult your doctor who will work with you, assess your unique situation, and make recommendations for your needs.

Focusing on sleep hygiene by putting in place practices and habits that support a restful night’s sleep can also help to address the symptoms of sleep deprivation. Read about how to develop good sleep hygiene with our sleep and health article.

At Sealy, we believe that sleep hygiene is an essential for your overall health and well-being. A high quality, comfortable mattress is the first step towards a great night’s sleep. If you think a Sealy bed might be what you need to improve your sleep, check out our  bed selector to find your perfect Sealy match. 

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