Can Sleep Deprivation Really Cause Death?

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Can Sleep Deprivation Cause Death

Yes, it actually can. Believe it or not, but sleep deprivation can be one of the factors behind a person’s death.

Sleep deprivation is one of the many problems millions of Americans face today, and not being careful enough about it can have serious repercussions.

Death is the ultimate consequence of sleep deprivation; it may not happen, but it certainly could. This article will discuss the different risks of sleep deprivation that can potentially lead to death.

Everyone needs sleep. Without it, we can’t exactly function as we should. The less amount of sleep we get, then the less we are able to function normally, and the more fatigued and stressed out as well.

The average person needs between seven to nine hours of sleep each night to function normally, but unfortunately, many people only sleep between four and six.

You know you suffer from sleep deprivation if you begin to suffer greatly from repeated nights of not getting enough sleep.

You may wake up repeatedly in the middle of the night, go to bed late and wake up early, or maybe don’t even sleep on some nights at all.

As a result, you’ll feel excessively sleepy during the day. Once the symptoms set in, there’s no time at all before the effects of sleep deprivation can threaten your health…and your life.

Death and Sleep Deprivation

Of course, if you don’t get any sleep at all, death is inevitable. This is known as chronic sleep deprivation, in which an individual gets literally no, or at least very, very little, sleep at all.

Eventually, it will get to the point where the individual is unable to sleep all together. This will ultimately lead to death.

Hopefully, you don’t have chronic sleep deprivation. Having just sleep deprivation alone, however, has numerous health risks that could threaten your life. Fortunately, there are many steps you can take to eliminate these threats.

On the Road

One of the primary areas of concern when it comes to sleep deprivation is driving on the road. Feeling fatigued greatly lowers your ability to react or recognize what’s going on.

You could potentially even fall asleep behind the wheel, but the primary thing to be concerned about here is the lack of concentration while driving. You don’t only endanger yourself, but also the people around you.

Dozens of scientific and medical studies have been conducted to show the effects of sleep deprivation and how it correlates to driving.

Many other studies have been conducted using driving simulations to show how safe (or not how safe) it is to drive while heavily fatigued.

The studies have yielded the fact that sleeping less than seven hours a night can impact your driving abilities, and that people who sleep less than seven hours are much more likely to be involved in a driving accident.

This is especially true for driving at night. While there are safety regulations in place, it’s ultimately up to you to be the judge of whether you are fit for driving.

If you are feeling too sleep deprived and fatigued to drive but need to go somewhere, then don’t feel afraid to ask someone else, such as a friend or family member, to drive you into work or wherever it is you need to go.

Work Accidents

Let’s say that you successfully drive to work. Well, there are also many reports of accidents at work that are greatly related to sleep deprivation.

A person who is sleep deprived at work, especially if other people and workers are in the same vicinity, are a major risk factor. We are also supposed to be asleep at night, so if a sleep deprived person is working a night shift, this is especially true.

You could unintentionally cause an accident that could inflict an injury on another person, and in extreme situations, could even cause death to that person. You could also bring about death to yourself, if you’re not careful.

Many natural disasters themselves have been noted as the result of sleep deprivation. When we are fatigued, our senses our down and we can’t perform the tasks before us like we should.

Heart Disease

Being sleep deprived will greatly increase your risk of developing some form of heart disease, and this is perhaps the greatest risk of all.

People who do not get the recommended seven to nine hours of sleep each night are three times more likely to develop a heart attack than people who do.

A reasonable question you might have is what is the correlation between sleep deprivation and heart disease? The reality is that when we don’t get enough sleep, our blood levels increase, which also spikes an increase in inflammation.

Inflammation can also damage our blood vessels, a significant factor in increasing the risk of a heart attack. Our vessels are considered damaged when they are either hardened or narrowed, but either way, its bad news.


There is also a strong correlation between sleep deprivation and obesity. Scientific studies have shown that being sleep deprived leads to us building a bigger appetite, which in turn means we consume more foods high in both carbs and fat.

Slowly but steadily, we’ll gain in weight to the point where we can be considered obese, and at that point, the risk of death will increase as well.

There are numerous reasons for why sleep deprivation can endanger our health to the point that it can threaten our lives, and the lives of others, as well.

This is just an outline and discussion of some of the more notable and dangerous ones. It is absolutely important that we get enough sleep, and while being deprived of sleep doesn’t mean that we will die eventually, it does mean that the risk of death is greatly increased.

Therefore, do whatever you can to catch up on sleep if you haven’t already.

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