The Negative Effects of Sleep Deprivation on the Mind

Man staying up late using his phone and computer, suffering from sleep deprivation

You’re not getting enough sleep if you’re getting less than six hours of sleep a night, even if you feel you are functioning well. Many people claim they are just short sleepers, but studies show that you cannot short your sleep without a negative impact on your brain. Memory and focus are the first things that start to fail.

It’s time to get more sleep if you wake up tired, have trouble remembering things, or have issues with your mood and relationships. Studies show that excessive sleepiness can hurt your ability to be productive, get along with others, and even lead to problems with depression and anger.


What Does Chronic Sleepiness Lead to?

The adverse effects of sleep deprivation can cause problems both physically and psychologically. Lack of sleep specifically leads to heart issues, and increases the risk of heart attack, stroke and heart disease significantly.

Sleep deprivation can also decrease your resistance to disease by increasing the risk of getting sick. Other adverse effects of sleep deprivation include:

  • More errors at work or school
  • Poor concentration
  • Dangerous driving


What Are the Common Causes of Sleep Deprivation?

Sleep deprivation is often “biopsychosocial”. In other words, there can be a biological, physical issues such as a sleep apnea or an issue with melatonin production. Anxiety, worry are depression are just a few of the psychological subjects that can severely impact our ability to sleep. There are also social or environmental pressures, such as screens and lights, or social obligations that keep us out late at night and up early for work.


What Are the Risk Factors Associated with Sleep Deprivation?

If you want to know the risk factors of sleep deprivation, take a look at the following things:

  • Age: the risk of sleep problems rises if you’re over 65
  • Race and ethnicity: sleep problems affect people of all races and ethnicities
  • Substance use: alcohol and drug use may impair sleep and cause sleep problems
  • Lifestyle: it’s essential to develop a healthy schedule if you want to get a good night’s sleep
  • Medications: the overuse of drugs can lead to sleep problems and many prescription drugs impact sleep quality


What Are the Warning Signs of Sleep Deprivation?

If you think you may not be getting enough sleep, you should look for these signs:

  • Trouble sleeping at night
  • Excessive daytime sleepiness
  • Mood or behavioral changes
  • Trouble concentrating
  • Trouble with memory or finding words
  • Trouble with your work or school
  • Driving issues
  • Irritability or anger
  • Self-image and self-confidence issues
  • Trouble keeping up with daily tasks
  • Chronic illness
  • Inability to function well enough to complete daily tasks


What Are the Treatments for Sleep Deprivation?

Treatments for sleep deprivation can include lifestyle changes, medications, or cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT). The basics of sleep hygiene are the first steps and won’t cost you anything. You should schedule your bedtime and wake time and keep your bedroom dark and quiet. Make a habit of relaxing in bed, using techniques such as slow, deep breathing, progressive muscle relaxation, or visualization.



Sleep deprivation is a common problem that can lead to various health issues. There are countless causes of sleep deprivation, including stress, grief, or being a new parent. If you have trouble sleeping for more than a few weeks, you should consult your doctor.

At Sleep Better Live Better, Dr. Muir and her qualified team have helped thousands of patients find healthy sleep solutions in North Vancouver, Surrey, and Victoria. Whether you’re suffering from sleep apnea, insomnia, or other sleeping problems, Dr. Muir and her team are glad to be of service. Sleep your way to health and vitality today! If you’re looking for a sleep clinic in Surrey, we’ve got you covered. Call us today at 604-587-5337 to book a schedule!