Health & Science

What Is Sleep Deprivation?

Have you ever spent all night tossing and turning? Ending up sleepless and cranky the next day? You might be experiencing sleep deprivation.

Missing out on the recommended 7 to 9 hours of sleep will cause you to feel more than feeling groggy or grumpy. It can cause you to have memory issues, trouble with thinking and concentration.

Different specific age groups have different recommended sleep durations:

     • Newborns (0 to 3 months): 14 to 17 hours each day
     • Infants (4 to 11 months): 12 to 15 hours
     • Toddlers (1 to 2 years): 11 to 14 hours
     • Preschoolers (3 to 5 years): 10 to 13 hours
     • School-age children (6 to 13 years): 9 to 11 hours
     • Teenagers (14 to 17 years): 8 to 10 hours
     • Adults (18 to 64 years): 7 to 9 hours
     • Older adults (over 65 years): 7 to 8 hours

Symptoms of sleep deprivation

     • Constant yawning
     • Sleepy grogginess experienced all day long
     • Poor concentration and mood changes
     • Daytime naps
     • Mood swings and irritability

What causes sleep deprivation?

From personal choice to medical reasons, there are several reasons why you may be sleep deprived.

Personal choice

Some people don’t realise that the body needs adequate sleep. Instead of going to bed at a reasonable hour, they prefer staying up late.


Illness such as colds and tonsillitis can cause snoring, gagging and frequent waking that can affect your sleep.


For jobs that have shifts or frequent travels can disrupt the sleep-wake cycles on a regular basis. Airline crew tend to have erratic sleeping patterns.

Sleep disorder

This includes sleep apnea, snoring, and periodic limb movement disorder can disturb a person´s sleep.


To treat epilepsy or ADHD, the drugs that are used can cause insomnia.

Sleeping environment

Sleeping in an environment such as a room that is too hot or cold, noisy neighbours, and a snoring partner can disrupt your sleep.

Poor sleep hygiene

Drinking coffee or smoking cigarettes close to bedtime habit can stimulate the nervous system and make you sleepless.


Parents mostly experience sleep deprivation because their babies are frequently waking up in the night for feeding or comfort.


Not enough sleep or disruption to the sleep-wake cycle causes fatigue. Getting enough sleep according to your age group’s requirements is crucial. Knowing the reasons for sleep deprivation should help you identify if you need a lifestyle change or seek medical help.

Know how you can develop a perfect bedtime routine to get enough sleep. Check our tips now!

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