Everything You Need to Know About Sleep

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  March 27th 

Lack of Sleep 

"How to Test for a Lack of Sleep and Why it Matters" 

By: Terrence Gaddis 

So what are the effects of a lack of sleep and why does it matter? It is a question that is often asked. To put it simply, it has been reported that only 28% of people get 8 hours or more sleep on average. That means that 72% of people are suffering from some form of a lack of sleep. The impacts of a lack of sleep naturally depend upon the severity and the longevity of the problem.


It has been reported in one well known survey that only 28% of people get at least 8 hours of sleep in an average night.

Short Term Effects of a Lack of Sleep

Normally, a short term lack of sleep will lead to effects that include:

A seeming heaviness in the head
Tired eyes
Dark circles or bags under the eyes
Lack of ability to concentrate

In addition, physiologically speaking, effects of a lack of sleep could also include:

Muscle pains
Dizziness and nausea
Short term memory loss
A mild form of psychosis that resembles attention deficit hyperactivity syndrome

A lack of sleep over a continued period of time (i.e. months, even years) has been linked to more severe forms of physiological impact, some quite dramatic. The more extreme symptoms of long term lack of sleep can include:

Reduced levels of growth hormones resulting in weaker immunity systems
Decreased healing abilities of the body
Impairment of dexterity
Weight gain

Long Term Effects of a Lack of Sleep

The European Heart Journal reported on a study that included the results of over 470,000 individuals by the University of Warwick, that a long term chronic lack of sleep significantly increases the likelihood of the following maladies occurring in an individual:

Heart disease
High blood pressure
High cholesterol

Given the severity of these physical ailments and the high proportion of the population that may be impacted by these impairments, it becomes important that people be able to tell if they are in danger of increasing their odds of suffering from one of these ailments due to a lack of sleep.

A Test for a Lack of Sleep

An easy test to administer on yourself is something called the Epworth Sleepiness Scale. The test consists of eight (8) questions, where you score your answer by give each question a ranking consisting of (0) - no chance of sleeping occurring; (1) - a slight chance of sleeping occurring; (2) - a moderate change of sleeping occurring; and (4) a high chance of sleeping occurring. The eight questions are:

What is the chance of sleeping occurring while you are doing the following:

  1. Sitting and reading? 
  2. Watching television? 
  3. Sitting inactive in a public place (i.e. theatre, or a park)? 
  4. As a passenger in a car for an hour without break? 
  5. Lying down in the afternoon for an hour when circumstances permit? 
  6. Sitting and talking to someone? 
  7. Sitting quietly after lunch without alcohol? 
  8. In a car while stopped for a few minutes in traffic? 


A measure of a lack of sleep can be provided with these scores: if you score 1 to 6, you are well rested; scoring 7 or 8 is a common score; 9 or greater likely means you should consult a sleep specialist.

Source: http://www.Go-to-Sleep.net

Go-to-Sleep.net is a website dedicated to the study of sleep. Everything that you could want to to know about how to go to sleep, including: sleep disorders, causes, cures, and studies.

Terrence Gaddis has been fascinated with sleep maladies since suffering through a case of insomnia in his youth. From this time forward, he has studied all the causes, treatments and news about this phenomenon.

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A Good Sleep              

A good laugh and a long sleep are the best cures in the doctor's book ~Irish Proverb