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Hi. I am 25 years old. I suffer from sleep deprivation. This condition of mine affects my normal life activities. I feel very irritated and depressed. My concentration is poor, I have gained some weight, and sometimes even my vision is blurred. What can be the cause of my problem? How much rest does a sleep deprived need?

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Hi. I am sleep deprived too. The cause of sleep deprivation includes emotional stress and excitement, meds and medical conditions (sleeping disorders), food additives and caffeine. I suffer from insomnia. However, there are other sleeping disorders, such as excessive snoring, choking sensations while asleep, excessive use of sleeping pills and nightmares. Each person needs a different amount of time to rest. The amount of time required for rest also changes with your age. Babies, for example need some 15 hours to sleep, while people over 65 years of age need only 7 hours. People from 16-65 years of age need some 8 hours of rest.
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Being sleep deprived for long periods of time can cause more serious conditions to develop, such as depression and anxiety, as well as affecting your physical health. It's very important to get a full night's sleep. I was losing sleep at the beginning of my husband's deployment because of raising two children alone now, the stresses of work and motherhood, the holidays, the bills...everything. I had to treat myself like a child and develop a night-time routine just like your children depend on to be able to fall asleep well. For starters:
No caffiene at least two hours before you're planning to fall asleep.
Remove distractions from your bedroom, including the computer (move it to the living room or another room), TV, etc. Make your bedroom the place to SLEEP, and that's it.
Develop a calming night-time routine like hot bath, then read a book (IN SILENCE...CUT OFF THE TV/RADIO/COMPUTER), maybe drink a warm drink like decaffienated hot tea). Make sure your bedding is clean, warm, and comfortable for you. Having a warm, snuggly place to do something calming like read or listen to soothing music, write, do whatever calms you really brings your body down to a calm, serene level that enables your mind to be able to rest. In order for your mind to rest, your body must be relaxed and free from activity.
Write a list before you start your bedtime routine, like before you get in the bath or shower, of all the things you need to do tomorrow, the things you need to "worry" about tomorrow. And as soon as you write them down, FORGET THEM.. know that your list will remind you in the morning of your obligations and you don't have to have them cycling about in your head overnight. LET THEM GOOOOO. And then enjoy your nightly routine.
Sleep in a cool, comfortable environment. My house tends to get hot very easily, especially upstairs, so I keep a very quiet fan pointed directly at my bed which blows a cool breeze over me and I can snuggle down in my warm bedding and fall asleep.
If, after you've tried all this you still can't sleep, a doctor can prescribe sleep aids. But try all this first to see if you can fall asleep naturally. It worked for me.
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