The 4 Causes of Sleep Deprivation – Find the Cause of Your Sleep Deprivation

To end your sleep deprivation, first you need to know what’s causing it. This article uncovers the 4 most common causes of sleep deprivation to help you identify exactly what’s making you feel sleepy.

Having a Lack of Sleep

The most obvious cause of sleep deprivation is not getting enough sleep at night. This lack of sleep can be caused by:

  • Not getting your recommended hours of sleep – Causes a build up of what’s called sleep debt. If you don’t pay off all your sleep debt by getting enough sleep, you’ll feel sleepy during the day.

  • Poor sleep quality – When you feel sleepy even when you’ve slept for a good number of hours. Caused by too much light sleep and not enough deep sleep.

  • Having an abnormal need for sleep – This could be caused by the side effects of certain medication or as a symptom of various sleep disorders.

Problems Falling Asleep

causes of sleep deprivationBeing unable to fall asleep is a common cause of sleep deprivation. You might be unable to fall asleep until the early hours of the morning no matter what time you fall asleep. This time spent awake eats away at your precious sleeping time. Here are three common causes of not being able to fall asleep:

  • Poor sleep hygiene – bad habits that prevent you from sleeping. They include having caffeine or alcohol too close to bed, or by going to bed too early and trying to force yourself to sleep.

  • Not having a good sleep schedule – Don’t feel sleepy when it’s time for bed, possibly resulting from delayed sleep phase syndrome. Can be caused by napping during the day, exposure to light from gadgets at night, or not waking up at the same time each day.

  • Being unable to relax – Your mind fills with thoughts as soon as your head hits the pillow preventing you from drifting off to sleep. Can be particularly bad if you suffer from anxiety or depression.

Keep Waking Up in the Night

Everyone wakes up in the night. Brief awakenings at night are a normal part of our sleep cycle. They only become a problem if you wake up and can’t fall back to sleep again, particularly if you wake up continually during the night. This is commonly caused by:

  • An uncomfortable sleep environment – Waking up feeling too hot or too cold or waking up from a painful sleeping position. Caused by inadequate bedding that’s not comfortable or supportive.

  • Needing to wake up to go to the toilet – Alcohol and caffeine are common suspects because they’re diuretics which means they come out of the body faster. Could also be caused by a medical condition or not spreading out your drinks throughout the day.

  • Forcing yourself to sleep – Even if you do manage to force yourself to fall asleep, you’re much more likely to wake up in the night. Particularly if you’re feeling stressed. Negative thoughts can pop up like a jack-in-the-box as soon as you wake up and prevent you from falling back to sleep.

Can’t Fall Back to Sleep in the Morning

There’s nothing more frustrating than waking up in the night after so little sleep. You feel too sleepy to get out of bed, but somehow you just can’t seem to fall back to sleep again. Here’s what could be causing it:

  • Morning distractions – Sounds such as slamming car doors or even morning birds can wake you up from sleep, even if you can’t remember what noise woke you up. Light from the sun can also wake you up, stopping the production of the sleepiness hormone melatonin and making you feel more awake.

  • Advanced sleep phase syndrome – A circadian rhythm disorder where your sleep schedule shifts so that you feel sleepier earlier in the evening and wake up earlier in the morning as a result.

  • Depression – Early morning awakenings is one of the hallmark signs of depression. It occurs because depression affects your sleep quality. Anything you can do to address the causes of depression will also help you sleep for longer.

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For advice on how to eliminate these causes of sleep deprivation, have a read of the article sleep deprivation treatment. Also take a look at some of the articles I’ve linked to concerning your particular cause of sleep deprivation. The better your understanding of what actually causes sleep deprivation, the easier it will become to remove that cause of sleep deprivation from your life and eliminate your sleep deprivation.