Common symptoms of lack of sleep, Part III
Continued from Part I and Part II.
Sleep deprivation can lead to other physical signs and nonspecific somatic (soma means body in Latin) complaints. Apart from the feeling of fatigue mentioned in the previous section, you may have other common symptoms of discomfort. You may have a feeling of being unwell, which may be a kind of tiredness, or simply "not well".
You may feel pain in your body. This can lead to a diagnosis of fibromyalgia or other conditions with chronic pain. You may have complaints of upset stomach or gastrointestinal symptoms such as diarrhea. The medical examination of these problems may not lead to their resolution if the underlying cause remains neglected and the symptoms are in fact due to unrecognized sleep deprivation.
Sleep cycle disruption
Finally, sleep deprivation disrupts the natural flow of the sleep cycle. Sleep occurs in two major stages throughout the night. The two stages of sleep are rapid eye movement (REM) and non-rapid eye movement (NREM). The level of arousal may be a transition from REM sleep to NREM sleep, or from NREM sleep to a state of being awake.
The REM is a deep stage of sleep with intense brain activity in the front and middle part of the brain. It is characterized by dreaming and lack of motor function, with the exception of eye muscles and diaphragm. It occurs cyclically several times during sleep but is the shortest part of the sleep cycle.
As we have already said, REM is one of the two main conditions of sleep. The other main condition of sleep is the non-rapid eye movement or NREM. The NREM consists of three separate stages.
The three stages are N1, N2 and N3 and each individual state has unique, different and recognizable electrical brain waves. While REM is the deepest state of sleep, NREM occupies the largest part of the sleep cycle.
Sleep deprivation can lead to serious consequences for your health and, in extreme cases, it may even lead to a fatal outcome.In addition, it often leads to various symptoms that can disrupt your lifestyle and your overall sense of well-being. You may feel too drowsy during the day, or have mood problems such as irritability, anxiety, and depression. This can undermine your ability to be focused and attentive, which has an important effect on your performance during the day.Lack of sleep can harm your short-term memory, as well as cognitive functions at a higher level, such as planning and judgment. It can also lead to psychic symptoms such as disorientation, visual hallucinations, and paranoia. Finally, sleep deprivation can contribute to other physical complaints, such as fatigue and body pains.
These symptoms can have a significant impact on your life and they testify to the importance of getting enough quality sleep that you need so much. If you have been struggling for a long time to get the necessary sleep, think about meeting a specialist, who can assign specific tests and further treatment to optimize your rest.