Your mind and body both benefit from sleep. You put yourself at risk for a number of physical and mental health issues, including sleep deprivation psychosis, when you don’t get enough good sleep. Memory issues, hypertension, heart attacks, decreased sex drive, obesity, depression, and immune system impairment have all been connected to insufficient sleep.
Additionally, lack of sleep can result in irritation, poor work or academic performance, and a decreased capacity for stress management.
In severe cases, lack of sleep can also lead to the development of sleep deprivation psychosis, a crippling disorder.
What Is Sleep Deprivation Psychosis?
A clinical word used to indicate a disconnection from reality is psychosis. Psychosis can impair a person’s ability to understand their surroundings and communicate with others.
Mental health conditions like schizophrenia, schizoaffective disorder, and bipolar disorder can lead to psychosis. It may also be brought on by a severe sleep deficit.
Once you’ve been up for 24 hours, you may start to exhibit certain sleep deprivation psychosis symptoms. Irritability, anxiety, and a feeling of being cut off from your thoughts and feelings are just a few of the early signs of sleep deprivation.
You are likely to encounter a number of severe symptoms, such as hallucinations and the inability to think coherently, after 48 hours without sleep.
Your likelihood of experiencing severe, long-lasting consequences of sleep deprivation psychosis increases the longer you go without sleep.
Possible Causes of Sleep Deprivation
There are a number of causes why why you can experience prolonged periods of insomnia. Lack of sleep can be brought on by particular lifestyle choices, medical disorders, and environmental factors.
Lifestyle decisions: Working late to finish a project at work or studying all night can cause the early stages of sleep deprivation psychosis. You can stay awake for several days at a time if you abuse certain drugs, such as methamphetamine or other stimulants on a regular basis.
Health issues: Anxiety, bipolar disorder, ADHD, and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) are just a few of the mental health conditions for which insomnia can be a symptom. People who have chronic pain could also have trouble falling asleep or have trouble sleeping at all.
External factors: Being in an uncomfortably loud, warm, or chilly environment can keep you awake. Additionally, sleep deprivation has been used as a kind of punishment or an interrogation method on some criminals. The deliberate restriction of sleep has been classified by several experts as a kind of torture, underscoring the harshness of this practise.
Whatever the reason for your lack of sleep, the symptoms and consequences can range from short-term misery to long-term pain.
What Are the Signs & Symptoms of Sleep Deprivation Psychosis?
As mentioned earlier on this page, once you’ve gone a day without sleeping, you can start to exhibit the early symptoms of sleep deprivation psychosis. Each day that goes by will probably see an increase in the severity of the symptoms.
The following are the warning signs and symptoms of sleep deprivation psychosis, according to a 2018 study published in the journal Frontiers in Psychiatry:
- Anxiety, depression, and other mood changes
- Perceptual distortions such as blurred vision and increased sensitivity to colors and sounds
- Temporal distortion (inability to properly track the passage of time)
- Disordered thinking, which can include problems forming logical thought patterns or maintaining a clear train of thought
- Inability to speak in a manner that is logical and understandable
- Auditory and visual hallucinations (hearing or seeing things that aren’t there)
- Delusions (believing things that clearly have no basis in reality)
- Depersonalization (feeling detached from your thoughts and emotions)
- Derealization (feeling detached from your surroundings)
- High Depression (spravato treatment)
You are likely to suffer all of the aforementioned symptoms of sleep deprivation psychosis if you have been awake for 72 hours or more.
The authors of the 2018 study noted that while some symptoms will typically go away once you’ve been able to get some rest, others may linger for a very long time after the sleep deprivation period has ended.
How Is Sleep Deprivation Psychosis Treated?
Numerous individual characteristics may influence the best course of treatment for sleep deprivation psychosis. The kinds of symptoms you’ve been having and the root reason of your lack of sleep are two important areas of focus.
You might require medical care, therapy assistance, or both if your lack of sleep is a result of substance misuse or a mental health condition, for instance. Both medicine and counselling may be used to treat anxiety, treatment resistant depression, bipolar disorder, and other psychological reasons of sleep loss.
Your mood may be lifted, your emotions stabilised, and certain other symptoms may be lessened by the drugs used to address these issues. If you’ve been battling with addiction, medicine might be able to ease the pain of withdrawal for you.
You can make necessary behavioural and lifestyle adjustments with the assistance of the therapeutic component of treatment. You might learn techniques in therapy that will enable you to control your symptoms, react to triggers in a healthier way, and avoid relapsing.
Additionally, therapy sessions offer a safe environment where you can express your goals and worries, reflect on your accomplishments and failures, and get targeted advice from a qualified expert.