When you only sleep for 5 to 6 hours everyday, you put at risk your mental and physical health. Even when it has become a habit. Repeating a moderate deficit of sleep, like one to two hours per night, accumulates and may adversely affect the health, explains researcher Dr. Michael Grötsinger from the Deutsch Association for Psychiatry, Psychotherapy and nervous Medicine (SGPPN) in Berlin.
Particularly affected are the heart, cardiovascular system, hormonal balance, regulation of blood sugar and the ability to respond and the immune system also changes. The concerned should not participate in traffic, operate machinery or enter the operating room. Unfortunately the concerned do not feel bad and do not recognize that they are tired, warns researcher Dr. Gryotsinger.
Other symptoms of prolonged lack of sleep may be feeling freezing, irritability and disturbances of concentration, deep depression and bad moods. No later then these symptoms you should ask for advice from a psychiatrist.
For the chronic shortage of sleep, is when there is a long gap between individual sleep and actual duration of sleep. The reasons have a different nature. The most affected are patients with chronic pain or sleep disturbances, shift workers, parents of young children and people caring for someone.
It is important that the concerned identify the problem. Because their knowledge is crucial to finding a solution. Depending on the reason of the concerned the doctor can consider how the employer or family can get enough sleep.
In sleep disturbances or lack of sleep because of pain can be helped from medication. Psychotherapy can also help to alleviate the problem for tasks related to parental or other care.
In shift work, a brief power nap at lunch or during the afternoon can also fill small energy reserves, advises Dr. Grötsinger.