Sleep Deprivation Vs. Sleep Deficiency

Many people think that sleep deprivation and sleep deficiency are the same thing but they are quite different from one another. Sleep deprivation is a condition which results from not getting enough sleep. Sleep deficiency is a much more comprehensive concept and can be a more serious problem. You have sleep deficiency if you do not get enough sleep and you sleep at times when you should not be sleeping, you sleep poorly, or you have some type of sleep disorder.

Sleep Deprivation

sleepdeSleep deprivation is the condition of not having enough sleep. When you are sleep deprived, it can cause you to have fatigue, daytime sleepiness, be clumsy and have weight changes. It can affect your brain and cognitive function. When a person is sleep deprived many things can occur.

There are many causes of sleep deprivation. The stresses of your life may affect our ability to sleep well at night. A person may also be sleep deprived because of medical or mental-health conditions that disrupt our sleep and be well aware that they are sleep-deprived. It is important to realize that sleep deprivation is often caused by unrecognized sleep disorders (such as snoring, sleep apnea, and restless leg disorder). After a night of sleep, you may be still be sleepy and not feel restored and refreshed. Most people are not even going to be aware that they are sleep deprived. This is why many people are undiagnosed for being sleep deprived for many years.

More than 85 sleep disorders are recognized by the American Sleep Disorders Association, affecting more than 70,000,000 Americans. Sleep-related breathing disorders range from simple snoring to sleep apnea, and most cases remain undiagnosed and untreated, which is frankly quite scary. More than 45% of the American population have chronic snoring problems and half of those people have sleep apnea. Increased awareness is the first step to helping people with their sleep deprivation.

Effects of Being Sleep Deprived

One of the main health effects of sleep deprivation is that you will have minor dark circles under your eyes, in addition to a hint of baggy eyes. Generally, sleep deprivation may result in:

  • Achy muscles
  • Automobile injury
  • Confusion
  • Decreased performance and alertness
  • Depression
  • Hallucinations
  • Hand tremors
  • Headaches
  • Heart attack
  • Increased blood pressure
  • Increased risk of diabetes
  • Increased risk of fibromyalgia
  • Irritability
  • Mania
  • Obesity
  • Occupational injury
  • Seizures
  • Stress in relationships
  • Stroke
  • Temper tantrums in children
  • Yawning

Some of the effects can be very serious, which is why it is important to get diagnosed sooner than later. Sleep is so much more than getting a few minutes of shut-eye.

Combating Sleep Deprivation

sleepdepIf you want to combat sleep deprivation, first you need to become aware that you have it. You then need to practice good sleep hygiene, which, in turn, will give you good sleep habits. Listed below are a few things to do to combat your sleep deprivation:

  • Get 7 to 8 hours of sleep nightly
  • Go to bed and get up at the same time daily
  • Avoid caffeine, alcohol, eating too late and too much before bedtime
  • Create a good sleep environment (be comfortable)
  • Exercise daily but not within 2 hours of bedtime

Sleep is the time for both your brain and body to be restored and recharged. It should play a critical role in your healthy mental and physical functioning ability.

Sleep Deficiency

Sleep deficiency is a broader concept than sleep deprivation. A person has sleep deficiency if they have one or more of the following:

  • You do not get enough sleep (sleep deprivation)
  • You sleep at the wrong time of day
  • You do not sleep well or get all of the different types of sleep that your body needs
  • You have a sleep disorder (such as snoring night, sleep apnea, or insomnia) that prevents you from getting enough sleep or causes you to have a poor quality sleep time

Sleeping is vital for us to have good health and well-being throughout our lifetime. We all must get a good night's sleep every night in order for function properly throughout the next day. Sleep deficiency can lead to health problems, injuries, loss of productivity, and possibly even death. Your ability to function while you are awake depends on whether you are getting enough sleep. You also need to sleep when your body is prepared and ready to sleep.

When you do not get enough sleep, are sleeping at the wrong times, or have poor quality sleep, you are going to feel tired and not alert. Sleep deficiency can interfere with work, school, driving, and social functions. Children who are sleep deficient might be overly active, have problems paying attention, misbehave and their school performance can suffer.

Sleep deficiency is a common health problem in the United States. About 15% of adults in the United States do not get enough sleep every day. Close to 40% of adults fall asleep during the day without meaning to at least one time a month. Sleep deficiency is linked to many chronic health problems, such as:

  • Heart disease
  • Kidney disease
  • High blood pressure
  • Diabetes
  • Stroke
  • Obesity
  • Depression

Sleep deficiency also is associated with an increased risk of injury. Getting enough sleep that is quality in nature at the right times is vital for you mental health, physical health, quality of life, and safety.

Lack of Sleep

A lack of sleep can cause so many different things that you really cannot afford not to get treated if you feel like you are not getting quality sleep. Lack of sleep can cause:

  • Accidents
  • Slow down your critical thinking and learning
  • Serious health problems
  • Kills your sex drive
  • Depression
  • Ages your skin
  • Makes you forgetful
  • You will gain weight
  • Increase risk of death
  • Impaired judgment


As you can see from this article, sleep deprivation and sleep deficiency are not the same thing. If you feel like you are not getting the proper sleep you need, you need to get properly diagnosed so you can function properly throughout the day. Sleep deprivation is only when you are not getting enough sleep. Sleep deficiency is when you are not getting enough total sleep and not enough of each type of sleep. If you are snoring a lot, you are more than likely have some type of sleep deficiency that needs to be treated property.

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