Sleep Deprivation Causes and Risk Factors

The causes of sleep deprivation can be physical, psychological, or a combination of the two. A person who sleep less than eight hours per night on a regular basis can suffer from sleep deprivation or other sleep disorders.

Sleep deprivation is a common condition that afflicts nearly 70 million of American people. A continued deprivation in sleep can result in many health problems such as fatigue, depression, poor concentration and heart disease.

There are a number of sleep deprivation causes and risk factors to be aware of. Being aware of the sleep disorders causes and risk factors can help you overcome this serious health problem.

Sleep Deprivation Causes and Risk Factors


Lifestyle is a major cause of sleep deprivation. A poor diet and excessive alcohol or caffeine intake during bedtime are the common causes of sleep deprivation. Working the night shift can also affect ones ability to get a normal sleep patterns. Making small changes to your lifestyle can improve your ability to sleep significantly.


Another risk factor for sleep deprivation is age. Elderly are tend to sleep lighter than younger people, hence they are more likely to experience sleep deprivation than younger people. Chronic health problems that are more common in elderly person, such as diabetes, hypertension, and gastroesophageal reflux disease – all can affect one’s sleep pattern.


Medications can alter the normal rhythm of your body thereby changing your sleep patterns and causing sleep deprivation. Always tell your doctor if you suffer from sleep disorders, especially if you are taking a new medication or a larger dose of your current medication.

Medical conditions

Some medical conditions can affect both your mental and physical condition, causing sleep deprivation indirectly. For example, severe asthma can trigger coughing at night, keeping you from regular sleep patterns.

Clinical sleep disorders

If the cause of sleep deprivation is not obvious, one could be suffering from a clinical sleep disorders. Sleep disorders such as insomnia and narcolepsy could be underlying problems for individuals suffering from sleep deprivation.

One such problem could be restless leg syndrome, a condition that characterized by an urge to move the legs in the middle of the night. Insomnia can be a result of restless leg syndrome.

Sleep apnea is another underlying condition that can result in sleep deprivation. It is a medical condition due to fat tissue, the throat closes off for a very short amount of time while you sleep. As a result you are jarred awake continually at night, without realizing it, and you always wake up, causing deprivation of sleep.

People who experience sleep deprivation or sleep disorders should seek medical help to determine whether the cause of sleep deprivation is a sign of serious health problems. In most cases, treating underlying sleep deprivation causes can improve your sleep pattern and quality of life.

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