Health effects of sleep deprivation


Every night, billions of people around the world climb into bed, close their eyes and drift off to sleep. But it’s not just humankind - even animals take the time out to rest.

While the medical community are still trying to unravel the many technical mysteries of sleep, one thing that they all agree on is that quality sleep plays an important role in maintaining your physical and mental health.1 After all, that’s why people spend so many hours with their heads on a pillow.

Good sleep can help you relax and recuperate after a busy day and makes you feel great the next morning.

If you’re not sleeping enough or finding yourself getting poor sleep, you will quickly start to notice the effects of sleep deprivation. 

Here is some information about sleep deprivation and the consequences that you’ll avoid when you get sufficient quality sleep every night.

What is sleep deprivation?

As the name suggests, sleep deprivation is when you’re deprived of adequate sleep.

While not a medical term, sleep deprivation is used to describe a state caused by inadequate quantity or quality of sleep caused by voluntary or involuntary sleeplessness as well as sleep disorders.3

Unfortunately, nearly 40% of Australians experience some form of inadequate sleep that can negatively impact health4, which is why it’s so important to make sleep a priority.

What are the signs of sleep deprivation5?

Sleep deprivation is generally not difficult to identify, especially over an extended period of time.

The common physical and mental indicators are exactly what you would expect, such as:

  • Continual yawning throughout the day      
  • Finding it difficult to control your emotions      
  • Feeling easily irritated      
  • Struggling to concentrate      
  • Dozing on the train or while watching TV      
  • Zoning out throughout the day

While having one or two of the above doesn’t necessarily mean you are sleep deprived, if you are experiencing a combination of these signs over a long period of time, it may be an indication that you are suffering from sleep deprivation.

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How does sleep deprivation affect your health?

There are several problematic symptoms of extended sleep deprivation which can impact a person in many different ways6, all of which may get worse over time if sufficient sleep is not restored.

These include:

1. Psychological effects

Poor ongoing sleep can directly affect regular brain and neuron functionality7 which impacts mental health. This may result in anxiety, depression, nightmares, and unexpected behavioural changes.8

2. Lower performance

A lack of sleep can have a negative impact on your productivity and the way you perform daily tasks, including work activities, memory recall and concentration levels, driving and even your ability to learn.9

3. Physical effects

Sleep deprivation may also cause physiological symptoms, such as skin issues10, digestive concerns, headaches, weight gain, and reduced immunity levels.11

4. Serious illnesses

A lack of sleep may adversely impact your cardiovascular system, which consists of your heart, blood, blood vessels and more.12  Sleep deprivation has also been linked to other chronic diseases.14 

How a free sleep assessment can help you

Getting enough quality sleep can help you to avoid the negative effects of sleep deprivation, so you can awaken your best, feeling well-rested every day.

If you are experiencing problems sleeping, you may wish to consider taking our free sleep assessment to better understand how to improve your sleep. 

The assessment only takes 60 seconds and asks you a series of simple questions designed to provide you with more information. It also conveniently sends the results to you via an email.

Take our free sleep assessment now.

Sleep, finally.

Sleep isn’t one-size-fits-all, neither is the way you improve it. We provide you the very best tools to help you get there.


Shop Now




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Source: Benefits of sleep. Healthy sleep. 2008. Division of sleep Medicine at Harvard medical School.

Source: Facts about sleep. Sleep Health Foundation Australia.

Source: Sleep deprivation. Better Health, Victoria State Government. 

Source: Asleep on the job: costs of inadequate sleep in Australia. Sleep Health Foundation Australia.

Source: Sleep deprivation. Better Health, Victoria State Government. 

Source: Public health implications of sleep loss: the community burden. Med J Aust 2013; 199 (8): S7-S10. || doi: 10.5694/mja13.10620
Source: 40 Facts about sleep you probably didn’t know. ABC The National Sleep Research Project.
Source: The truth about beauty sleep. WebMD. accessed 6 Nov 2019
Source: Sleep your way to health. Sleep Health Foundation
Source: The association between insomnia symptoms and risk of cardio-cerebral vascular events: A meta-analysis of prospective cohort studies. Eur J Prev Cardiol. 2017 Jul;24(10):1071-1082. doi: 10.1177/2047487317702043. Epub 2017 Mar 30.
Source: The Link Between a Lack of Sleep and Type 2 Diabetes. National Sleep Foundation.

Source: Sleep and Disease Risk. Division of Sleep Medicine at Harvard Medical School.

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