The short term effects and consequences of sleep deprivation
Decreased Performance and Alertness
Sleep deprivation induces significant reductions in performance and alertness. Reducing your nighttime sleep by as little as one and a half hours for just one night could result in a reduction of daytime alertness by as much as 32%.
Memory and Cognitive Impairment
Decreased alertness and excessive daytime sleepiness impair your memory and your cognitive ability -- your ability to think and process information.
Disruption of a bed partner's sleep due to a sleep disorder may cause significant problems for the relationship (for example, separate bedrooms, conflicts, moodiness, etc.).
Poor Quality of Life
You might, for example, be unable to participate in certain activities that require sustained attention, like going to the movies, seeing your child in a school play, or watching a favorite TV show.
Excessive sleepiness also contributes to a greater than twofold higher risk of sustaining an occupational injury.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates conservatively that each year drowsy driving is responsible for at least 100,000 automobile crashes, 71,000 injuries, and 1,550 fatalities.
Long Term effects of Sleep Deprivation
In the long term, the clinical consequences of untreated sleep disorders are large indeed. They are associated with numerous, serious medical illnesses, including: