The 6 Most Common Signs of Sleep Deprivation

Written by: Lull Team



Time to read 3 min

Sleep deprivation can lead to some pretty nasty health issues, including memory loss and decreased mental functioning, obesity and diabetes, and even heart disease. Yikes!

But how do you know when you’re suffering from sleep deprivation and putting your health and happiness at risk? Different people can have different symptoms and go from simple sleep loss to the more dangerous realm of sleep deprivation at varying amounts of missed time in bed. 

Let’s take a look at 6 of the most common symptoms of sleep deprivation so you can be in the know about your sleep health and make sure that you’re getting the refreshing rest that you need and deserve

1. Lethargy If you find yourself feeling sleepy throughout your day, you’re most likely suffering from this most common sign of sleep deprivation. You’ll be groggy and drowsy while at work or school, have a general sense of being run down, and might even have muscle soreness or body aches. If you find yourself falling asleep during the day, yet having trouble falling asleep at night, you might have a sleep disorder that can benefit from being addressed by a health professional. Be sure to discuss any sleep issues that you might be having with your family doctor. 

2. Mood Changes Do you find yourself snapping at family members and coworkers more than usual? You might be sleep deprived. Lack of sleep can have some pretty serious effects on your mood, showing up as everything from irritability to depression. There have even been links found between severe sleep loss and an increased risk of suicide.

 3. Difficulty Concentrating In order to function at its peak, your mind needs to be well-rested. Losing out on sleep has a direct impact on being able to concentrate, and often results in decreased alertness during the day, as well as a higher risk of errors and accidents at work or school. Studies have shown that people that get less than 7 hours of sleep per night are suffering from a chronic form of sleep deprivation that leads to cognitive performance impairments that are equal to people that don’t sleep at all for up to forty-eight hours. 

4. Poor Memory If you find yourself having trouble remembering things more and more, the culprit could be sleep deprivation. Losing out on sleep can lead to problems with higher-level mental functioning, such as your ability to plan, organizes, and recall recent events. A loss of short-term memory is a key indicator that you’re suffering from sleep deprivation and need to focus on getting more rest. 

5. Disorientation and Paranoia Missing out on sleep can also cause some pretty scary psychiatric consequences. Studies have shown that a chronic lack of sleep can be linked to a general feeling of disorientation and even hallucinations. You may find yourself mistaking the day of the week, not knowing where you are, or even being unable to recognize someone in your life, all thanks to sleep deprivation. You could also find yourself seeing things that aren’t really there if you’ve suffered from sleep deprivation for long enough or feeling as if those around you are “out to get you.” Yikes! Luckily, these frightening issues can be alleviated by getting adequate rest on a regular basis. 

6. Physical Complaints Another sign of sleep deprivation is a general sense of feeling “not well” on a regular basis. This can be as simple as a case of body aches or as specific as gastrointestinal upset, such as a bout of diarrhea. If you find yourself suffering from a set of physical complaints that don’t seem to have a root cause, your best bet is to pay attention to how much sleep you’re getting each night. If it’s less than 7 hours, you’re most likely feeling the effects of sleep deprivation. If you find yourself having any of these signs of sleep deprivation, it might be time to see your doctor about some medical assistance with getting the sleep that you need to be the healthiest and happiest version of you possible.