Home Health The 5 Stages of Sleep Deprivation You Need To Know

The 5 Stages of Sleep Deprivation You Need To Know

by alex
sleep deprivation

Humans require sleeping for survival. Sleep helps your body recover itself and to perform critical biological functions.

Sleep Deprivation
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Adults require 7-8 hours of rest every night. However, sometimes work, and other factors in your life can disrupt your sleep schedule.

If you sleep less than you’re supposed to or get no sleep at all, this is known as sleeping deprivation.

In most cases that aren’t suffering from a minor night of sleep, the loss isn’t an issue to be concerned about. But prolonged or repeated sleep deprivation could cause serious health problems.

Sleep deprivation can impair cognitive function, cause more significant inflammation, and decrease immunity. If you suffer from sleep deprivation, this can increase your risk of suffering from chronic illness.

In general, there are five stages of sleep loss. The stages are typically divided into 24-hour or 12-hour increments. The symptoms typically become more severe the longer you are awake.

Sleep deprivation timeline

There’s no universal timeframe for sleep lack.

The general stages are determined by the number of minutes of sleep lost. The effects of sleep absence tend to become worse at each stage.

Here’s what could happen to your body when you the night:

Stage 1 After 24 hours

It’s normal to fall behind the entire night. This won’t cause any severe health issues; however, you’ll likely feel exhausted in the morning and feel “off.”

Based on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)Trusted Source, sleep deprivation of 24 hours is equivalent to being a driver with a blood-alcohol level at 0.10 per cent. This is higher than the legal limit that allows you to drive legally.

The inability to sleep for more than all day may result in sleep deprivation symptoms such as

  • Drowsiness
  • irritability
  • anger
  • greater likelihood increased risk stress
  • reduced alertness
  • impaired concentration
  • Brain fog
  • fatigue
  • Tremors
  • decreased coordination
  • higher risk of errors or accidents
  • hunger cravings
  • puffy eyes
  • dark undereye circles

2. Following 36 hours

If you miss the 36 hours you sleep, the symptoms of sleep deprivation will become more severe. You’ll feel a strong urge to go to bed.

It is possible to experience microsleeps or short moments of sleep without being aware of it. Microsleeps typically last between 30 and 60 seconds.

The different brain parts are having a difficult time communicating with one another. This will severely affect your cognitive abilities and can cause symptoms such as:

  • Memory impairment
  • difficulties in learning new information
  • behavioural shifts
  • impaired decision-making
  • difficulties in processing social signals
  • slow reaction time
  • Increased errors

It is also more likely that you’ll be afflicted by physical ailments such as:

  • an increase in appetite
  • Increased inflammation
  • impaired immune function
  • extreme fatigue

Stage 3 after 48 hours

The absence of sleep for up to more than 48 hours is severe sleep lack. It’s more difficult to remain awake. You’re more likely to experience microsleeps.

It’s possible to dream or hallucinate. It happens when you can see them, hear or feel things there.

Other effects that could be possible are:

  • depersonalization
  • sleep deprivation anxiety
  • Stress levels are elevated levels of stress
  • more anger
  • extreme fatigue

Step 4 Stay awake for 72 hours.

After three days of losing sleep, Your desire to sleep will increase. You may have more frequent, long microsleeps.

Sleep deprivation can significantly reduce your ability to perceive. The hallucinations you experience could get more complex. There are other possible causes:

  • illusions
  • illusions
  • Troubled thinking
  • depersonalization

5. Stay awake for 96 hours or longer

After four days, your perception of reality will become drastically altered. Your desire for sleep will be intense.

If you’re unable to get enough sleep that it’s difficult to perceive the reality around you, it’s known as sleep deprivation psychosis.

Typically, the psychosis of sleep deprivation is gone once you have enough rest.

What time will it take to restore

It is possible to overcome sleep deprivation by allowing yourself to sleep more.

Start by going to bed earlier instead of staying up late. It’s also recommended to ensure you get 7-8 hours of rest every night. This will allow your body to recover.

It could take days or even weeks to recover from a period of sleep loss. A single hour of lost sleep takes four days of recovery. As long as you’ve been up, the longer it’ll take to return to normal.


The most effective treatment is contingent on the amount of sleep you’ve been deprived of. Options include:

  • Napping. If you’ve only lost just a few hours of sleeping, napping could help alleviate your symptoms. Don’t nap longer than 30 minutes, as it can disrupt your ability to fall asleep at night.
  • A healthy sleep routine. Practising healthy sleep habits is crucial to preventing and managing sleep deprivation.
  • Sleep aids are available over-the-counter. Over-the-counter (OTC) sleep aids are great for those nights when you’re not sleeping. They can cause an addiction to them, so it is recommended to limit your use.
  • Prescription sleeping tablets. Your doctor may prescribe sleeping pills. However, like OTC supplements for sleep, these may be less effective as time passes.
  • The treatment of light therapy. If you have extreme insomnia, Your doctor may recommend light therapy. The treatment is intended to help your body reset its internal clock.
  • Breathing devices. If your sleep lack is caused by sleeping apnea or sleep apnea, you could receive a device that will assist you in breathing during sleep. Continuous positive pressure (CPAP) device is the most commonly used alternative. 

Tips for living

Healthy sleeping habits are among the most effective methods to avoid sleep deprivation. This is an excellent example of positive lifestyle choices that help you get high-quality sleep.

Let yourself be exposed to natural sunlight.

sleep deprivation
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Natural light exposure can help regulate the body’s production of the hormone melatonin, which is the hormone that induces sleep. It regulates the body’s internal clock.

Regular physical activity

A regular workout can help you feel exhausted in the evening. Make sure you exercise for 20-30 minutes every day.

Make sure you exercise at least 5-6 hours before your bedtime. If you exercise too late during the day can affect your ability to fall asleep at night.

Beware of caffeine later in the daytime.

If you drink drinks with caffeine drink, make sure you finish your cup before noon. It could take up to six hours to allow the caffeine to disappear.

Beware of alcohol consumption before going to bed.

While alcohol is well-known to induce sleepiness, it may also affect sleep quality. Do not drink too much alcohol before bedtime.

Beware of screens with electronic content before going to bed

It’s tempting to binge-watch a movie or check out social media before going to bed. But it’s important to note that it is essential to remember that the screen’s blue light may cause brain stimulation. It also decreases the production of melatonin.

To prevent these adverse effects to avoid these effects, refrain from using your electronic device for 30 to 1 hour before bedtime.

Make a relaxing routine for bedtime.

A peaceful routine for bed will aid your body and your mind prepares for the night. It could include activities that relax you, such as:

  • bathing in bathing in a hot bath
  • stretching
  • meditation
  • Reading

Sleep in a comfortable environment

You’re more likely to have a good sleep if your bed is relaxing and comfortable.

To create the perfect sleeping setting:

  • Switch off electronic devices, such as televisions and phones.
  • Keep your bedroom temperature at a comfortable level (between 60-67 degF (16 to 19 degrees Celsius).
  • Make sure you have a comfortable mattress and pillows.
  • Make noises less loud by using the help of a humidifier, fan, or a white noise machine.

Be sure to follow a consistent sleeping schedule.

You should wake up and sleep at the same time each night, regardless of whether you’re not working. This will allow your body to keep a consistent schedule.

Beware of foods that can disrupt sleep.

Certain foods can take some time to take in. The digestion process can keep you awake, which is why it’s recommended to avoid these meals before going to bed to avooid sleep deprivation.

This includes:

  • heavy metals
  • Fried or fatty foods
  • spicy dishes
  • acidic food items
  • Carbonated beverages

If you’re not hungry enough to go to bed, try snacks that are light, such as cereal or crackers.

Try to consume your last meal a few hours before going to bed.

When to visit a doctor

It’s normal for people to experience an occasional night of sleep deprivation. If you’re still having difficulties sleeping after implementing the proper sleep hygiene, consult an expert.

Seek medical help if you:

  • They have difficulties sleeping
  • Feel tired after a good night’s sleep
  • awake several times during the night
  • Experience microsleeps
  • suffer from frequent fatigue
  • must take naps every day

Bottom line

The initial stage of sleep deprivation is within 24 hours after missing sleep. A majority of people can handle this amount of loss of sleep.

However, as sleep loss continues, the more difficult to remain awake. It also affects your ability to think and perceive reality.

With proper sleeping habits, it’s feasible to recover from or avoid sleep loss. If you’re still having trouble getting a good night’s sleep, check with your physician.

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