What is sleep deprivation?

When you are sleep deprived, you can get headaches and irritability; but it also has chronic effects that can increase the risk of health issues. Watch Nina Radcliff, MD, explain how not getting enough sleep can negatively impact our health.
This is an individual concept, varying from one person to the next.  Usually sleep deprivation is when someone is not getting the right amount or quality of sleep they require to feel refreshed the next day.
Dr. Ellen Marmur, MD
Sleep deprivation is a form of stress that has become a national epidemic, which is no surprise. According to the National Commission on Sleep Disorder Research, approximately 70 million people in the United States are affected by a sleep problem. The National Institute of Health reports that 40 percent of American adults occasionally have difficulty sleeping, and more than half that number is women. A 2005 poll by the National Sleep Foundation found that women are more likely to experience sleep problems than men. This makes sense, considering we are usually the child-rearing caregivers in the family. On top of that, we're hormonally programmed to have sleeping issues. During pregnancy, nearly 80 percent of women have sleep disturbances, and during menopause an equal percentage suffer from interrupted sleep (thanks primarily to hot flashes).

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.