Hucksters even promote methods of deliberately avoiding sleep, such as polyphasic sleep (taking multiple naps rather than succumbing to one extended sleep period). The use of stimulating drugs like caffeine, cocaine, or amphetamines in order to stay alert can also induce sleep deprivation.
Sleep deprivation has serious health impacts, both in the short and long term. The main effect of sleep deprivation is excessive daytime sleepiness, which can lead to traffic accidents and workplace injuries. Sleep deprivation has both and impacts on your health.
Hearing loss is one of the most obvious and easily quantified effects of excessive exposure to noise. Its progression, however, is insidious, in that it usually develops slowly over a long period of time, and the impairment can reach the handicapping stage before an individual is aware of what has happened. While the losses are temporary at first, they become permanent after continued exposure, and there is no medical treatment to counteract the effect. When combined with presbycusis, hearing loss naturally occurring with the aging process, the result is a premature impairment that grows inexorably with age.
Investigations of the relationship between noise level and duration have been conducted over recent years using laboratory animals. The results have confirmed the validity of the equal energy (3-dB) rule for single exposures to continuous noise (Bohne and Pearse, 1982; Ward and Turner, 1982), or when the exposures are broken up into 8-hour, or even 1-hour "workdays", 5 days per week, so long as the sound energy is equivalent (Ward, 1983). There is, however, some benefit to intermittent quiet periods (Ward and Turner, 1982), during which the ear can recover from small, temporary hearing losses. For this reason EPA has adjusted its identified safe level upward by 5 dB (11) since most environmental noise exposures are intermittent in nature. EPA's use of the equal-energy rule and the 5-dB adjustment have not been seriously challenged.
Just an observation...you suggest a sleep deprived person uses a different portion of the brain for activities such as speech than a rested individual. I have noticed that at times of my own sleep deprivation it's almost as though my subconscious thought processes have been re-routed through my speech centre...or at very least through my "top-of-mind" thought centre. (Please excuse my lack of technical terminology...I'm not especially well researched in this area.) For example I may find myself aware of the fact that I'm short of breath...and subsequently need to remind myself to breathe...or blink...and sometimes find myself verbalising these stream-of-consciousness processes. Perhaps more concerning are those times I have found myself verbalising these processes while driving...along with the other driving-related requirements (ie. indicate now, clutch and brake, left-hand down a bit...) Any thoughts? Has this been observed elswhere or was it something I imagined in my sleep-deprived state? Darren
Sleep deprivation occurs when you consistently fail to get enough sleep. An individual's need for sleep varies, but adults usually require eight hours, and younger people need nine hours of sleep each night. The more demands made on your time, the more likely it is you suffer from some degree of sleep deprivation.
There are various estimates of the number of Americans affected, but one reliable source says 20% of the population is affected every year. If that's correct, that means about 62.7 million Americans are currently afflicted with sleep deprivation.
Sleep deprivation can be acute (coming on rapidly, but ending quickly) or chronic (lasts a long time, or recurs periodically). There are three main causes of sleep deprivation: choosing to sleep too little, lack of time to sleep, and medical conditions.
Sleep deprivation affects a person not only physically but also emotionally and psychologically causing drowsiness, inability to concentrate the next day, hallucinations, mood swings and many other potentially serious health problems in teenagers.
Coping with sleep deprivation includes establishing a regular, relaxing bedtime routine, eating carbohydrate-heavy meals at least two to three hours before your regular bedtime, and sleeping on a comfortable mattress and pillows.
Lack of time to sleep usually occurs in one of two ways. It can happen when people work too much (for example, at a company that requires a certain number of overtime hours per week), or when sleep time is consumed by tasks that must be done (for example, caring for a sick family member). Other than finding other employment or hiring a caregiver, alternatives that are not always available, this type of sleep deprivation is difficult to address.
Medical problems that cause sleep deprivation can be either conditions in which loss of sleep is a side effect, or primary sleep disorders that disrupt normal slumber as a main effect. If you have the breathing problem called sleep apnea, for example, that will wake you many times each night in order to prevent asphyxiation. Mental illnesses that cause manic states of hyperactivity can keep patients awake for long periods of time. The muscle tremors and rigidity caused by Parkinson's disease can interrupt sleep frequently.
The effects of noise are seldom catastrophic, and are often only transitory, but adverse effects can be cumulative with prolonged or repeated exposure. Although it often causes discomfort and sometimes pain, noise does not cause ears to bleed and noise-induced hearing loss usually takes years to develop. Noise-induced hearing loss can indeed impair the quality of life, through a reduction in the ability to hear important sounds and to communicate with family and friends. Some of the other effects of noise, such as sleep disruption, the masking of speech and television, and the inability to enjoy one's property or leisure time also impair the quality of life. In addition, noise can interfere with the teaching and learning process, disrupt the performance of certain tasks, and increase the incidence of antisocial behavior. There is also some evidence that it can adversely affect general health and well-being in the same manner as chronic stress. These effects will be discussed in more detail in the paragraphs below.
The difference between sleep deprivation and insomnia is that sleep deprivation means not having the chance to get a full night's sleep, and insomnia refers to not being able to take advantage of sleeping time by managing to fall asleep.