Are these signs of sleep deprivation apparent in your child?
Signs Your Child (or You) Are Sleep Deprived
We may assume that we are perfectly healthy after losing crucial sleep time. However, research has shown that losing sleep can have an impact on our wellbeing. Below is a list of some seemingly ‘mild’ consequences of sleep deprivation, and how they can impact our quality of life.
Are They (or You) Finding it Difficult to Focus?
Chronically depriving yourself of sleep can lead to problems such as focusing on set tasks. This occurs because if you are not able to get enough sleep, your brain’s ‘locus coeruleus’ neurons will degenerate. This degeneration makes it difficult for the brain to send the right signals to the cortex. This results in the brain being unable to receive a message saying it is time to concentrate.
Have you ever noticed when you are tired that your mind wanders and you start to drift off the set task? Where did you go? You may find yourself zoning out!
If you are working on the computer or typing, you may notice you have made many typographical errors.
These little things may seem harmless in some applications, but what if it happens when you are driving? How many times have you heard a person has had an accident due to inattention or worse, they have dozed off?
Committing errors not only impairs job performance, but it can be the cause of accidents and even death. These are why they are not considered ‘mild’ but serious circumstances.
Are They (or You) Forgetful?
Have you noticed yourself forgetting things more regularly? Perhaps you keep forgetting where you put your keys or your phone. Or do you keep looking for your glasses, and find them perched on your head? Even if you want to deny that you are becoming forgetful, experiencing moments like these, may well and truly mean you are becoming sleep deprived.
Every stage of sleep has an impact, not just on a person’s memory but on all aspects of their brain’s health. You need your sleep in order for your brain to do what it needs to do.
Are They (or You) Unable to Remain Attentive?
One of the direct effects of sleep deprivation, or any other condition that deprives you of sleep, including insomnia, is being unable to remain attentive. If we are sleep deprived for too long, our attention span levels are significantly reduced. The worst-case scenario is if you are sleep deprived for many days, that damage to the brain’s neurons can be irreversible. This has been shown by expert research and studies.
Are Their (or Your) Decision-Making Skills Impaired?
Having a weary, worn-out, sleep-deprived brain can cause you to become slow at making decisions. Your brain will always try to conserve power and when it is sleep deprived it will only try to handle one task at a time, and at a reduced cognitive rate. If you need it to handle multiple tasks at once, you will feel scrambled.
Your brain will also find it hard to look at the picture as a whole when dealing with a certain situation. That is just overloading your already tired brain. This is why sleep deprivation is associated with bad decision-making and why sleep loss is one of the biggest factors linked to health and safety.