No, you won't go blind or deaf. However, one of the symptoms of sleep deprivation is vision and hearing problems.
And as you'll see below, this combination can be deadly.
Here's how I found out about this.
Recently I received two questions from two different visitors to Sleep Passport. Both had to do with the effects of sleep deprivation on the eyes.
The first question was: Can sleep deprivation affect your eyes and vision, and if yes, can you give specific details and examples?
As for appearance, lack of sleep can create:
I will not cover those symptoms of sleep deprivation in this article. The reason is because the second question I was asked is: I have under eye puffiness and also dark circles under my eyes. Do you know anything that can help with these?
I do know what can help with those bags under your eyes and will address that in another article.
For now, let's look at the negative effects of sleep deprivation on your ability to see.
Here's the big key for you to realize: Sleep loss fogs up your brain functions.
Studies show that sleep deprivation negatively affects sensory input to the brain. It impairs and slows down the ability of the brain to process detailed visual information.
One consequence of this is your eyes' depth perception is not as accurate. Sleep loss affects the ability of your two eyes to properly work together.
In addition, one of the symptoms of sleep deprivation is an affect on the processing of vestibular information. The vestibular system in the body is responsible for helping to maintain a sense of balance.
These two consequences of sleep deprivation affect the young and old. But they may be particularly important as people get older.
As we age, our balance is not as good and falling down is often common. Fractures can cause a major health decline. Even death.
Another one of the symptoms of sleep deprivation is a decrease in the functioning of the oculomotor nerve that controls the movement of the eyeballs.
This nerve controls upward, downward, and inward eye movement. It also controls the narrowing and widening of the pupil, as well as maintaining open eyelids.
Sleep deprived subjects involved in one of these eye nerve studies had a deterioration in their test performance. Yet, they did not report feeling sleepy.
Just think about this. As the symptoms of sleep deprivation are reducing a person's ability to think and act clearly, the person doesn't even know it. As you will see below, the implications for driver safety are scary.
Some studies have also suggested that tunnel vision may be one of the symptoms of sleep deprivation. As people get sleepier, they begin to neglect objects in their peripheral vision.
That's because aging, as well as sleep deprivation, lowers our abilities to process peripheral signals that reach the eye.
And by the way, another one of the symptoms of both sleep deprivation and alcohol intoxication is something called end-position nystagmus. This is rapid involuntary movements of the eyes when they are turned to their maximum horizontal position.
When a police officer stops a person they suspect is driving under the influence of alcohol, they are trained to look for nystagmus. Sleep deprived people could appear to the officer to be intoxicated.
A recent study showed that staying awake for 24 hours straight has a negative affect on hearing.
The study was done with 30 healthy females and males in the age range of 23 to 40. Lack of sleep resulted in listening difficulties and a slower ability of both males and females to process sound.
Because I think this article can save lives. Maybe yours. Maybe mine. Maybe one of our loved ones.
It's time for everyone to wake up to the reality that sleep loss and sleep debt leads to:
And consider this. Millions of people are sleep deprived all over the world.
In addition, these same people are driving around tired...AND they are texting or talking on their cell phones at the same time.
Studies have shown that as little as 18 hours of sleep deprivation impairs driving performance.
That means that if you got up at 6 a.m., then by midnight—if you are out driving around—you are a driving hazard.
Check out these facts.
In 2010, the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety put out a report called Asleep at the Wheel: The Prevalence and Impact of Drowsy Driving. Here are just a few of their findings:
And here's something interesting...
Taking sleeping pills does not help people overcome their sleep deprivation. Did you know that sleep medications only give a person about 11 minutes extra sleep per night?
In addition, a study in 2012 showed that people who take sleeping pills or antidepressants were at greater risk of having motor vehicle accidents.
And finally, if one of the symptoms of sleep deprivation that you have is bags under eyes, you'll like the next article I'm writing. I'll show you how to get rid of that baggage. Subscribe to my free Sleep Chat newsletter (up above right)...or click on the orange RSS button (up above left) to sign up for my blog. I'll let you know when I post the article.
Here's a all-natural sleep aid that you might try if you are having trouble getting to sleep. This formula is designed to help you improve your sleep patterns.