12+ Signs That Someone Is In Deep Sleep Debt

By Rio Dennis 4 months ago

Frequent yawning throughout the day

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Sleep debt refers to the cumulative sleep deprivation that occurs, when an individual consistently gets less sleep than their body needs. This list includes some of the signs, that someone is in deep sleep debt. Frequent yawning throughout the day, is a clear signal that someone is not getting nearly enough sleep.

Difficulty staying awake during meetings/lectures

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If someone is finding it difficult to stay awake during meetings or lectures, it is likely that they are struggling to get enough sleep. You may find that they seem to drift off, when they should be paying attention to what is being said, or they attempt to hide the fact that they are trying to sleep.

Persistent feelings of grogginess upon waking

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Deep sleep debt will often cause someone to wake up feeling groggy, irritable and generally grumpy. They may have a shorter temper than usual, and will let small inconveniences severely impact the rest of their day. Other people may comment on the fact, that they look like they've 'woken up on the wrong side of the bed'.

Frequent forgetfulness/difficulty concentrating

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Frequent forgetfulness, paired with an increased difficulty concentrating, are two major signs of deep sleep debt. If someone is not getting nearly enough sleep each night, their brain is not able to rest and hold onto important information (that they have gathered throughout the day).

Mood swings, irritability/increased emotional sensitivity

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Deep sleep debt not only affects someone physically, it affects them emotionally as well. They are more susceptible to mood swings, irritability and increased emotional sensitivity. This change in emotional state can start to affect their personal and professional life.

Frequent cravings for sugary/high-carb foods for energy

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With a lack of sleep, comes a lack of energy. This means that someone experiencing deep sleep debt, is likely to have frequent cravings for sugary, high-carb foods, in order to maintain some kind of energy level. They will have an increased intake of unhealthy food options, as well as high-sugar energy drinks.

Reduced coordination/clumsiness

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One of the more subtle signs of deep sleep debt, is reduced co-ordination and increased clumsiness. You may notice that someone is showcasing more 'careless' actions e.g. dropping items, bumping into walls/people and tripping up. Sleep debt will typically hinder someone's ability to pay attention to their surroundings.

Difficulty making decisions

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Making decisions is something everyone does within their personal and professional life, and it is often something that can be quite mundane. However, there are times when making a decision requires some more thought and overall attention, which a sleep-deprived individual will be unable to do effectively.

Increased susceptibility to illnesses

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People who are severely sleep-deprived, have an increased susceptibility to illnesses, due to a weakened immune system. Sleep allows your body to relax, repair and rejuvenate itself. When your body is deprived of this, your immune system is going to weaken over time, making it more difficult for you to fight off illness.

Inability to stay awake

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An inability to stay awake, is the main tell-tale sign of sleep deprivation, especially if it is impairing someone's ability to watch TV/read. When someone is struggling to complete their usual tasks, and pay attention to certain sources of entertainment, this is a clear sign that their body is struggling.

Micro-sleep episodes

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Micro-sleep episodes refers to brief, involuntary lapses into sleep throughout the day. These lapses into sleep can happen at any time, no matter the person's surroundings/situation e.g. during meetings/lectures, within the home, at the shop and whilst driving.

Impaired reaction time

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Linking back to the last point, someone will have impaired reaction times, when they're in deep sleep debt. This is extremely concerning, if they're driving and/or operating dangerous machinery. An impaired reaction time means that they are potentially putting themselves and others at risk, because they don't have the ability to make quick decisions.

Frequent headaches

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Frequent headaches is another common side effect of deep sleep debt. These headaches can range in severity, duration and location (within the head). For many people, they find themselves suffering from tension headaches; located at the front/side of the head.

Difficulty maintaining a regular sleep schedule

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Difficulty maintaining a regular sleep schedule, is probably the most obvious sign of deep sleep debt, as someone's body is literally incapable of resting (fully) at suitable times. An individual may find that they are consistently going to bed within the early hours of the morning, which prohibits them from getting enough hours of sleep.

Dependence on caffeine

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Dependence on caffeine and energy drinks, in order to stay awake, is one of the worst ways that someone with sleep-deprivation attempts to keep their energy levels up. Caffeine is a highly addictive substance, and it doesn't take much for someone to become completely dependent on it.

Impaired judgement

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Similarly to an impaired reaction time, a person suffering from sleep-deprivation, will also have an impaired sense of judgement. This impaired judgement will often lead to risk-taking behavior, which can be extremely dangerous. Not being able to judge potentially risky situations, can lead to injury.

Decreased libido

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It is common for there to be a decreased libido, and/or sexual dysfunction, amongst people suffering for severe sleep debt. This all ties into the lack of energy that an individual is left with, and their body's inability to focus. This can lead to many problems within relationships.

Weight gain/difficulty losing weight

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Weight gain/a general difficulty losing weight is another slightly subtle sign of deep sleep debt, and isn't always noticeable at first. This kind of weight gain derives from the increase in unhealthy food consumption, and the overall lack of energy (especially for regular exercise).

Increased sensitivity to pain

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An increased sensitivity to pain may seem like a slightly strange side effect, but it is a lot more common than you think. This increase in sensitivity is linked to a weakened immune system, as well as a lack of co-ordination and clumsiness. An individual's body will find it increasingly difficult to overcome pain.

Waking up feeling unrefreshed

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As mentioned previously, deep sleep debt can leave people feeling groggy after waking up. It can also make them feel unrefreshed, even if they have managed to get a long night's sleep. Their body is constantly trying to catch up on lost hours of sleep, so one decent night of sleep is not enough to tackle the sleep debt.

Impaired creativity

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Impaired creativity and problem-solving skills is another negative side effect of deep sleep debt, and it can impact someone's professional life/career. This side effect can take on many forms, and can range in severity e.g. unable to provide creative insight within meetings, and struggling to think rationally about situations.

Muscle aches/tension

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Muscle aches and tension adds to the physical side effects of deep sleep debt, and if it is left untreated, it can cause long-term health problems. These aches and tension may be affecting certain areas of someone's body e.g. legs, arms or head, or it can be generalized pain.

Reduced exercise tolerance

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Regular exercise can become extremely difficult for someone who is suffering from deep sleep debt, as they don't have the energy, tolerance and motivation needed to complete normal tasks; let alone a full-on workout. This reduction in exercise, tends to lead to gradual weight gain as well.

Falling asleep quickly when sitting/lying down

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People suffering from deep sleep debt, will typically fall asleep whilst sitting or laying down e.g. sat at a desk, sat in a meeting/lecture, laying on a bed etc. This links back to micro-sleep episodes, that are a common occurrence for these individuals.

Frequent naps

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Staying on the topic of short bursts of sleeping, frequent micro-naps will occur when someone is performing monotonous or repetitive tasks. This typically happens within an office work-space e.g. typing at a desk, writing up reports, creating spreadsheets etc.

Reduced productivity

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Reduced productivity is a side effect, caused by a range of other signs included within this list. This reduction of productivity can occur within school and work, and will often be detrimental to an individual's personal progress/overall development.

Frequent eye twitching/muscle spasms

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Frequent eye twitching and (other) muscle spasms are another common side effect of deep sleep debt, as a person's eyes become strained, and their body has not able to fully relax into a full night's sleep. This can be worsened by overexposure to blue light from devices e.g. cellphones and laptops.

Difficulty regulating body temperature

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A difficulty regulating body temperature, may seem like a strange sign of deep sleep debt, but it can be quite a common occurrence. An individual may suffer from feeling excessively cold and/or hot, despite others around them not feeling as affected by the surrounding climate.

Increased stress levels

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Increased stress levels is another common sign of deep sleep debt, and ties into an increase in mood swings, irritability and lack of emotional stability. If someone is suffering from deep sleep debt, they will typically find that smaller inconveniences affect them a lot more, than they normally would.

Reduced ability to cope with challenges/setbacks

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Linking back to the previous point, there can be a reduction in someone's ability to cope with life's challenges, and potential setbacks. A severe lack of decent sleep, leads to a reduction in rational thinking/problem-solving skills, which are required to overcome certain (difficult) situations.

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