Welcome to Sleep Deprivation Effects, a comprehensive compilation of articles on the effects of not getting enough sleep, reasons why people are sleep deprived, and solutions to the problem – hopefully, just reading some of the articles won’t put you to sleep. Our bodies are incredible organisms with the ability to repair themselves, especially when a problem is discovered and corrected early. Lack of sleep is easily correctable, in most cases. Getting adequate sleep reverses the majority of sleep deprivation effects.
Why should I be concerned about sleep deprivation effects?
Sleep is vital for a healthy life. Many factors can cause a lack of sleep and lead to sleep deprivation effects. It is important to evaluate yourself from a comprehensive perspective when determining what is causing your sleep problem. Problems could be caused from the food you eat during the day and at particular times, by the level of stress and methods in which you relieve your stress, by the bed you sleep on or the environment in which you sleep, and many other various possibilities. All of these potential problems could cause you a lack of sleep and subsequently result in sleep deprivation effects.
Have you ever heard about the man who goes to the doctor because he gets a pain in his eye every time he drinks a cup of tea? After a thorough exam, the doctor can find no problem with the man’s eye and absolutely nothing to connect the cup of tea to his pain. He told the man to stop drinking tea for a few weeks to see if the pain would come back by itself. A couple of weeks later, the man was back in the doctor’s office complaining that the pain was back even though he had given up his beloved tea. Another exam still found nothing wrong with the man’s eye. Upon questioning, the doctor discovered that the man had started to drink coffee instead of tea, but this made no more sense than it had before. Out of desperation, the doctor had his nurse bring the patient a cup of tea. The man was so delighted to be able to drink his beloved tea once again and would not stop chatting as he stirred the tea. Just as the doctor began to turn around to leave, the man screamed out in pain as he began to drink his tea. The doctor turned towards the man and burst into laughter as he saw the man drinking his tea with the spoon still in the cup – it was the spoon handle poking into the man’s eye that was causing his pain.
The reason for this long joke is to demonstrate that sometimes the solution to some of our problems is blatantly simple and right in front of our face, we just can’t see till someone else points it out to us. You have made the first step to overcome your sleep deprivation effects by finding this site.
I will be exploring the many different reasons why we skip or avoid sleep and how this effects our bodies, especially as we get older. I will be explaining how to best set-up your environment to get a good night’s sleep. We will examine many of the myths about sleep. Most of all, we will find solutions to sleep deprivation effects.Read More
Vicodin is a commonly prescribed pain reliever for those recovering from surgery due to illness or injury. It contains hydrocodone, a synthetic form of codeine and acetaminophen. It is classified as an opioid which means that taking it may lead to tolerance and dependence on the drug which may later lead to an addiction. Within six to twelve hours after taking the last dose of this pain reliever, Vicodin withdrawal symptoms manifest.
Vicodin withdrawal works this way:
It stops your brain from receiving pain signals. So if you miss a prescribed dose of Vicodin, your brain will begin receiving pain signals again. Pain is uncomfortable and often unbearable. What most people do the minute they perceive pain is to reach for Vicodin to stop the pain.
What most people do not understand is that opiates and opioids like Vicodin is well- tolerated by the body. The body easily gets used to being happily pain-free. But being well-tolerated also means that as the body gets used to being happily pain – free, the body will need an increasing dosage of Vicodin to achieve the same level of pain relief.
When a regular dose of Vicodin is late, or when you have finished a month’s supply of Vicodin in just two weeks as you will need more and more Vicodin to reach the same freedom from pain; your body will crave for the Vicodin. You cannot rest, be relieved or be happy without Vicodin. Sadly, Vicodin is habit-forming very much like a bad relationship you want to be rid of but are afraid to be without.
So what happens when you stop taking Vicodin? Your body goes into Vicodin withdrawal. Withdrawal is an assortment of changes in your body, in your mood or in your behavior after you stop taking an opiate such as Vicodin. Withdrawal can be physical and it can also be both emotional and psychological.
The first sign of Vicodin withdrawal is the vengeful return of the pain (for which you were prescribed the Vicodin in the first place). It could be real pain, but it can also be imaginary pain, or it may be just the pain of the withdrawal itself.
Your whole body tenses up and your muscles ache. You start shaking and you break out in cold sweat. It feels like you’re about to have a bad case of the flu: you get muscle and joint pains; you become feverish; and your heart starts to race.
Because your heart rate increases, your blood pressure also increases. You feel like screaming and running but if you get up, you feel like throwing up. Your stomach hurts and you are dizzy and nauseous. With all that going on, the Vicodin withdrawal symptoms themselves cause you to lose sleep. It is really difficult to sleep with your stomach churning, your head spinning and your leg jerking. You lose sleep because of the withdrawal symptoms; but then later, insomnia becomes a regular symptom of Vicodin withdrawal. Your mind is alert to all the sensations of pain and discomfort but you are trapped in a shaking and tremulous body. It’s not a wonder that you lose sleep.
When you quit cold-turkey on Vicodin, these withdrawal symptoms will manifest within 6-12 hours from the last dosage. But these Vicodin withdrawal symptoms are mild compared with the full-blown withdrawal you will experience within 24 to 36 hours from quitting Vicodin.
Why are there two stages of Vicodin withdrawal? This is because even after your body rapidly metabolizes and uses up the Vicodin, some of its active ingredients are still freely circulating in your blood and stored in your liver. To stop the awful pain and tremors, your body will use up the Vicodin you’ve stored up—hence the mild withdrawal within 6-12 hours. But when the stored up Vicodin is all gone, full-blown
Vicodin withdrawal begins—hence the onset of terrifying withdrawal symptoms.
Most doctors do not prescribe quitting Vicodin cold-turkey: patients are scared of going into full-blown Vicodin withdrawal. They instead recommend a gradual “weaning” from Vicodin. A gradual weaning may just prolong your agony.
How long does Vicodin withdrawal last? The acute withdrawal symptoms can last from three to five days. This is the worst. But after these three to five days where the Vicodin withdrawal symptoms are mostly physical, the post-acute Vicodin withdrawal stage begins.
The post-acute Vicodin withdrawal stage is different from the acute Vicodin withdrawal stage in that it is episodic. It comes and goes and life feels like a roller-coaster ride. The physical symptoms may lessen, only to be replaced with gnawing emotional and psychological symptoms: the craving for Vicodin nags at you; the anxiety, agitation and restlessness of your mind and your emotions feel like random panic attacks. You often fear that you are losing control, losing your mind.
How long does this post-acute Vicodin withdrawal stage last? It lasts until the body can manufacture its own endorphins again. Endorphins are your “feel good” hormones. In a non-addicted person, endorphins are released by your brain when, for example, you kiss the one you love; when you smell your baby’s clothes; when you laugh watching a good movie; or when you get a promotion at work.
The post-acute Vicodin withdrawal stage can last for months. And this is where insomnia hits you hardest. As you wrestle with feelings of shame, guilt, anxiety and agitation, sleep becomes an impossible dream and an unreachable star. Post-acute Vicodin withdrawal makes you sleep deprived.
How can you relieve post-acute Vicodin withdrawal symptoms that cause sleep deprivation?
- You can practice deep breathing: controlling your breath will calm you down and stem the agitation.
- You can engage in regular physical exercise such as running: it will use up your energies in the daytime and get you tired enough to want to sleep.
- You can try listening to classical music to help you relax.
- You can take herb teas that help ease tension and relax muscles such as passionflower, ginger, and peppermint.
- You can try getting a massage to relax you.
- You can take a hot bath just before bedtime.
- You can see your doctor and ask him about the benefits of the anti- hypertension drug Clonidine. It eases the racing of the heart and the pounding in your ears as blood rushes in your head.
The withdrawal symptoms associated with quitting Vicodin are daunting and intimidating. Realizing that the withdrawal symptoms are not short-lived but will go on for months is staggering. All this may weaken your resolve to quit. But hang on in there!
Your body will adjust to the absence of Vicodin. When because of Vicodin withdrawal you find yourself awake in bed, don’t bulldoze your way through to get some snooze. Relax and go with the flow. Read, watch TV, listen to your favourite CD, watch a chick-flick and cry your eyes out. Find a friend from another time zone and talk through the episode. Think of Vicodin withdrawal as breaking up and falling out of love with Vicodin: it is painful, but it does free you to move on to better things in life. You can get past this rough patch. Hang tough!Read More
What is Methodone? It is a synthetic drug developed in Germany around 1937 primarily as an analgesic and an anti-tussive: it was a cough and pain remedy. It was introduced in the United States ten years later, in 1947. It was initially marketed as a therapy and maintenance drug for cancer and the chronic pain that accompanies cancer.
In time, its potential for use as a drug for treating heroin addiction and withdrawal was discovered. It was then marketed as a substitute drug for heroin and morphine. It worked as a transition drug for those who want to get off of using morphine or heroin. You see, morphine and heroin are highly addictive. Using them poses a great health risk because in time, the same high can no longer be achieved using the same dose: you need increasingly higher and higher doses to get the same freedom from pain.
More than that, morphine and heroin addiction involves severe withdrawal symptoms: stroke, heart attack and seizures are associated with morphine and heroin withdrawal. So methodone was marketed and viewed as a solution to lessen the risk of these severe withdrawal symptoms of morphine and heroin.
So if Methodone is such a miracle drug, why is there a need then for detoxing from methodone? Sometime in 2006, the US Food and Drug Administration issued a public health alert. Years after using methodone as a transition drug, the former heroin and morphine addicts have become methodone addicts!
It’s not hard to see why: those who have been prescribed methodone are usually those who live with chronic pain. For them, pain relief is not a choice or an option; it is a daily necessity. Shifting from morphine and heroin to methodone was like getting off a bullet train to sure death. But getting on methodone was like getting on a steam engine to the same destination. Methodone has been proven to be addictive as well: maybe not as bad as morphine or heroin; maybe not as life-threatening; but just as addictive. Hence came the need for detoxing from methodone. Notice that the word used is not “withdrawing” from methodone, the word used is “detoxing.” The prolonged use of methodone is toxic.
It is toxic because it stays in your body longer than other drugs but its potency is limited to six hours. This means that you get relief for your pain for six hours but the pain immediately comes back even before your body has fully excreted all the methodone. Because the pain is back, you want to take methodone again. What happens is there is a traffic jam in your body: methodone builds up and piles up.
Then you develop arrhythmia (your heartbeat becomes irregular); you develop shortness of breath and even chest pains. Methodone build-up in the body is a recipe for a heart attack. So you really need to get off of Methodone; you need detoxing from methodone.
The good news is: withdrawing and detoxing from methodone is not as immediately life-threatening as withdrawing from morphine and heroin. Good news is that the physical symptoms of withdrawal are not as acute or as heightened as heroin or morphine. The bad news is: detoxing from methodone lasts longer. It takes about two weeks to six months to detox from methodone.
Another bad news is: the withdrawal symptoms are more emotional and psychological. Among the reported symptoms of detoxing from methodone include paranoia (you become suspicious of everything and everyone); suicidal ideation (suddenly, taking your own life becomes a logical and sensical proposition); depression (you feel like a slowly deflating three-day old balloon); hallucinations (you begin seeing things and hearing things); agitation (you can’t sit still) and prolonged insomnia (you don’t just have problems sleeping, you can’t sleep at all).
It would be good to detox from methodone with a support group or with the help of a therapist. You will need to talk to someone who can help you sort out these thoughts and emotions that surge within you or annoyingly peck and nag at you.
The only symptom that you have to wrestle with on your own is insomnia. You have to be prepared for the insomnia related with detoxing from methodone.
First thing, settle it in your head: you will have problems sleeping while you detox from methodone. Second thing: accept it as a reality: you can’t sleep as you detox from methodone. Third thing: prepare with things to do when you can’t sleep because you are detoxing from methodone.
Forgive yourself: it’s not your fault you have a medical condition that brings your real pain. It is not your fault that you need pain relief, so don’t feel guilty. You are not a bad person for getting hooked on pain relievers. You may not even have known that you can get hooked or that you are already hooked. According to the English philosopher Jeremy Bentham, one common and basic human drive is to avoid pain.
That was all you were doing, you were managing your pain. What to do now?
Relax. Sleepless doesn’t have to mean sadness.
Stack up on DVDs of movies you haven’t watched.
Watch reruns of sitcoms (this way, you may be sleepless but at least you’re laughing).
If you’re the serious intellectual type, watch Shakespeare (some of his plays have been made into movies, you know). Watch Merchant-Ivory movies of English novels.
Watch documentaries from National Geographic or Discovery channel: the voiceovers are soothing and the panoramic vistas of the savannahs are relaxing. If you want to work out aggression, watch lions tearing apart deer while you punch away at a punching bag (suggestion: put your ex’s picture on the punching bag, that should help you get rid of your pent-up anger).
Listen to music.
Exercise (running or brisk walking induces sweating and sweating is a sure way to remove toxins from the body).
If you can arrange it, get a massage or a sauna and a massage. A massage promotes circulation of the blood; and circulation of the blood triggers a more efficient excretion of toxins.
Eat well and drink a lot of fruit juices. Fruits and fruit juices have a laxative and diuretic effect. This will promote further excretion of toxins.
Get a job at a call center and put your sleeplessness into good use: earn money. Or, help others by volunteering at a crisis hotline.
The last word on detoxing from methodone: now that you have decided to do this, be confident that you’ve made a good, sound, healthy decision. You can do it. It will probably be an uphill climb, but , oh, boy, when you get to the summit: to finally be detoxed from methodone, it will be joy unspeakable. Good luck to you, dear friend.Read More
Suboxone is a drug that is specifically prescribed to treat opiate addiction. It belongs to the opioid family of drugs, but unlike heroin and morphine, it is only a partial agonist. A partial agonist is a drug that mimics the opiate effects of heroin, morphine, codeine or other opium-derived drugs but it does not have the same narcotic effect. It does not produce the same euphoric high and so it is not as highly addictive as heroin or morphine. While it is not addictive, people who take it can still develop a dependence on Suboxone. This means that if they stop taking Suboxone, suboxone withdrawal symptoms will occur.
The drug Suboxone was developed by an American scientist working at Columbia University. It was initially developed as a drug that can be taken by people suffering from chronic pain and have become addicted to heroin or morphine to stop the pain;
Since their pain is chronic, their quality of life will suffer without pain relief: suboxone offers pain relief without the addictive euphoria.
Does it sound too good to be true?
In 2000, another use of Suboxone was sanctioned by the Drug Addiction Treatment Act which authorized the establishment of Suboxone treatment programs aimed at helping heroin and morphine addicts to be cured of their addiction.
The ideal use of Suboxone after the passage of that law is no longer as a substitute pain reliever to heroin or morphine. It was declared as a drug addiction treatment.
A person addicted to heroin or morphine quits cold-turkey and before heroin or morphine withdrawal occurs, the person takes Suboxone. It is prescribed to be taken only for seven days under the law. The seven-day period is the duration of acute heroin and morphine withdrawal.
Suboxone is prescribed as a substitute pain killer to heroin and morphine only until the withdrawal symptoms of heroin and morphine have subsided. Then the dosage will gradually be decreased until after the acute heroin or morphine post-acute withdrawal stage is over.
Suboxone tricks the brain into thinking that it is still getting the same opiates but in truth, the opiates are slowly being removed from the body but without the body going through full-blown acute heroin or morphine withdrawal.
Suboxone is referred to as a step-down drug. It contains buprenorphine, an opioid medication with a less intense “high” than morphine or heroin; and it also contains nalaxone, a drug that occupies the opiate receptors of the brain and blocks other opiates from affecting the brain.
The problem is that people often get dependent and addicted to suboxone itself. What was intended as a temporary remedy to relieve withdrawal symptoms of heroin and morphine addictions, becomes a drug of choice as it fulfills the same tasks of heroin and morphine: it stops the pain; but it is not addictive in that it does not give a ‘high” and yet, it gives pain relief.
So what happens when you get hooked on the step-down drug, suboxone? What happens when you become overly dependent on suboxone? Well, for one, your financial well will dry up. Suboxone is very expensive. This is why it is a temporary
relief. You simply cannot afford to go on taking Suboxone as it costs too much. Your insurance may cover the suboxone treatment but the treatment beyond seven days will no longer be covered by most insurance policies. After the seven days, you cannot rely on your insurance to cover the cost of purchasing suboxone. You will be on your own.
So let’s say you have become dependent on Suboxone. You feel better but you are bothered that your expenses have ballooned. You decide to stop taking suboxone.
What happens next?
Your doctor or your drug rehabilitation professional will try to wean you off of suboxone. You will be titrated: this means that you will be given a gradually smaller dose until your daily dosage of suboxone amounts to no more than one milligram a day. This will ease the transition from suboxone to being finally pain-killer free.
But what if you do not wean yourself off of suboxone first? What if you decide to quit cold-turkey? You go into suboxone withdrawal.
The good news is: suboxone withdrawal symptoms are not as intense or as acute as heroin or morphine withdrawal. Heroin and morphine withdrawal must be undertaken only under medical supervision because serious withdrawal symptoms such as seizures and strokes may occur. In contrast with this, suboxone withdrawal is quite mild, precisely because it creates no addiction.
The bad news: there is a trade-off to mild suboxone withdrawal symptoms; suboxone detoxification takes longer. This means that it takes longer for the suboxone to be removed from your system.
The mild suboxone withdrawal symptoms will not go away in seven days. Acute Suboxone withdrawal lasts for two to three weeks and post-acute suboxone withdrawal lasts for a year.
As with all opiate withdrawal, there is the acute stage which is the most intense part of withdrawal. After this comes the post-acute stage which is the roller-coaster ride which will last for three months to a year. If you’ve read the other articles on opiate withdrawal in this website, you will know that the acute stage of opiate withdrawal is usually a physical withdrawal and the post-acute stage of opiate withdrawal is emotional and psychological.
Insomnia or lack of sleep is one of the side effects of taking suboxone: when you are taking suboxone, you will not get much sleep. But when you go into suboxone withdrawal, insomnia is also a withdrawal symptom. Suboxone deals your sleep pattern a double whammy! You will have problems sleeping.
You will not be able to sleep when you are experiencing acute withdrawal. Your heart will race as though you were extremely nervous and excited all at once. And this will last for two or three weeks.
You will not be able to sleep either when you are experiencing post-acute withdrawal. This time, along with agitation, you will also wrestle with feelings of frustration, of inadequacy and impatience. You are unable to sleep because of the episodic physical symptoms but later, the episodic symptoms are accompanied with emotional upheaval as well. Expect to have problems sleeping.
What do you do when you are experiencing a post-acute suboxone withdrawal episode? First, remember that your goal is over-all health and not just weathering the withdrawal episode. Second, you must take charge over your body: only put in it what’s good for it. Third, you must be consistent in taking care of yourself.
What lifestyle changes can you implement?
- Learn to relax and take a load off. Learn not to bite off more than you can chew.
- Eat more fruits and vegetables. Avoid colas, coffee, tea and other stimulating beverages that aggravate agitation and nighttime sleeplessness.
- Take vitamin supplements that are rich in the amino acid L-tyrosine and Bc12.
- These have a calming and soothing effect on the nerves and the muscles.
- Establish a regular routine that includes exercise and rest.
- Explore other means of pain relief such as meditation, acupuncture and massage.
Being pain-free and being suboxone-free is worth all the effort. Taking control and taking charge of your life will bring its rewards and fulfilment. You can step away from the step-down drug that is Suboxone.Read More
Apnea monitor those electronic devices that measure and record your sleep patterns while using forced air to maintain proper air flow:
- How deeply you breathe while asleep;
- The rising and falling motion of your chest as it measures the flow of air into your lungs;
- Your heart rate;
- The oxygen levels in your blood;
When in 1836 Charles Dickens published his novel, The Pickwick Papers, he never imagined that one of the characters he created, Joe, would be the poster-boy for Pickwickian Syndrome. Charles Dickens was no medical doctor but he was a keen observer of human idiosyncrasies and an accurate portrayer of life-like characters.
Charles Dickens described Joe as a fat, red-faced boy who wasRead More
You’re probably like most adults who often feel sleepy around bedtime, but when you finally settle down in bed, you find that you’re not sleepy anymore. You try to relax: take a hot bath, read a book, drink some warm milk, do anything to help you sleep, but still you spend the night hours tossing and turning in bed unable to sleep. You wonder if you will ever be able to stop insomnia.Read More
Could our weight be effected by sleep deprivation side effects? Maybe it could, even though it sounds more like a line from a late night infomercial than fact. When I first heard that one of the sleep deprivation side effects is weight gain, I said “no way.” But then I continued to do research on the effects of not getting enough sleep and the subject of weight gain or loss kept popping up in all kinds of different research studies.Read More