It may seem like there is no difference between insomnia and sleep deprivation, however while people may not welcome insomnia, we actually may choose to accept sleep deprivation. Staying awake late into the night to extend our evening fun or to create more time to get work done may be a common occurrence for us.
Despite the fact that most people function best with at least 8 hours of sleep/night, many people don’t get that much sleep. In addition, many of us may be in bed sleeping for 8 hours, but perhaps not getting the best quality sleep due to sleep disturbances such as apnea, restless leg syndrome, dopamine deficiency, etc…
Sleep deprivation affects many aspects of our health and well-being; below are a few examples of the consequences of being sleep deprived:
- increased appetite
- decreased ability to focus during the day
- blunted reward response
- increased production of stress hormones
- compromised blood vessel health
- compromised immune function
We don’t choose all sleep deprivation, but there could be things we could “let go until tomorrow” in order to get in bed earlier. What activities do you find keep you up late into the night or force you to get up much earlier than you’d like? Can you change any of these factors that create sleep deprivation for you?