sleep deprived woman

5 Sleep Deprivation Stages: Ultimate Guide

Sleep deprivation is a state of not getting enough sleep, and it can come in different stages. This condition happens when you don't have sufficient hours of rest, making your body feel tired and sluggish. It can cause emotional disturbances such as mood swings, irritability, and anxiety.

Long-term effects may lead to serious health problems like heart disease or depression. It's important to prioritize good quality sleep to avoid the negative consequences of sleep deprivation.

Let’s discuss sleep deprivation stages in detail!

Quick Look: What are the Stages of Sleep Deprivation?

  • Stage 1: No sleep for 24 hours.
  • Stage 2: 36 hours without sleep
  • Stage 3: 48 hours without sleep
  • Stage 4: 72 hours without sleep
  • Stage 5: 96 hours without sleep

Keep reading to find out more about the different stages and how you can navigate them if you are struggling with getting some decent zzz’s. This article will help you to identify which range or stage you might be experiencing; we have grouped together some stages for easy reading!

Sleep Deprivation Cause, Effect, Solutions

Stage 1: Mild Sleep Deprivation (No Sleep for 24 - 36 Hours)

Most experts recommend that adults get between seven and nine hours of sleep every day.

Seven hours is enough to ensure a good rest for most people, but sleeping less than seven may result in poor-quality sleep. But not everyone needs seven hours of sleep. Teens, children, and babies all need more, while some adults also require extra shut-eye each night.

What are the signs or symptoms of early sleep deprivation?

The effects of sleep deprivation may begin to show early on.

Early symptoms include:

  • Less ability to fight off infections
  • Less physical strength
  • Inability to concentrate
  • Drowsiness
  • Memory problems
  • Impact on cognitive performance and mood

Stage 2: Moderate Sleep Deprivation (36 - 72 hours without sleep)

Moderate sleep deprivation will develop if mild sleep deprivation remains unchecked. The symptoms will likely become worse as your brain and body try to recover.

What are the symptoms of moderate sleep deprivation?

In addition to Stage 1 symptoms, moderate sleep deprivation symptoms include the following:

  • Drowsiness
  • Dark undereye circles
  • Decreased alertness
  • increased risk of stress
  • Impaired concentration
  • Increased risk of mistakes or accidents
  • Irritability
  • Puffy eyes
  • Reduced coordination
  • Tremors
  • Increased appetite
  • Increased inflammation
  • Impaired immune function
  • Extreme fatigue

What are the Symptoms of Sleep Deprivation

Sleep deprivation can have a variety of effects on the mental state as well if you are not getting enough sleep for a consistent period, you may experience the following:

  • Fatigue
  • Anger
  • Irritability,
  • Brain fog
  • Mood swings,
  • Anxiety,
  • And even more severe mental health problems like depression.

The recommended amount of sleep is unique for each person, but adults should aim for seven to nine hours per night on average. Quality shut-eye shows positive results in our body's ability to function correctly and improves our immune system.

Sleep deprivation involves different stages, and recovering once you've lost quality sleep is difficult. Trying new ways to get better sleep can help improve your natural state and prevent negative consequences. These negative consequences typically develop once your sleep deprivation becomes severe.

Stage 3: Severe Sleep Deprivation (72 - 96 hours without sleep)

Severe sleep deprivation results from a prolonged period without sleep, which could be several days with less than 7 hours of sleep a night or going several days without sleep.

The following signs of sleep deprivation will be impossible to ignore:

  • Illusions
  • Delusions
  • Disordered thinking
  • Depersonalization

These symptoms will typically develop if you go more than 4 days without sleep, and there will be an uncontrollable urge to go to sleep. The mental effects will be significant, and the mind will struggle with interpreting reality.

If you find yourself struggling with severe sleep deprivation, the symptoms could develop into sleep deprivation psychosis but will go away once you get a good night’s sleep.

But what if you can’t fall asleep? What are the long-term effects of sleep deprivation?

The effects of chronic sleep deprivation are severe and far-reaching: they have been linked to high blood pressure, diabetes, obesity and depression, and heart attacks.

effects of sleep deprivation

How to Overcome Sleep Deprivation

Sleep deprivation can affect your emotional, mental, and physical well-being, but it's nothing that a good night’s sleep can’t remedy. The irony is that sleep deprivation is an inability to fall asleep (or stay asleep). So, here are some practical tips to help you overcome sleep deprivation.

Let’s start off with some sleep hygiene practices:

  • Develop a consistent bedtime routine and stick to it.
  • Avoid caffeine and alcohol before bed
  • Avoid using electronic devices before bed
  • Take care of your bedroom environment- enjoy a clean, clutter-free environment to encourage a more restful sleep

Medications and supplements for sleep

Talk to your doctor about sleep medications or supplements that can help you get better sleep. There are also helpful sleep aids on the market to help you fall and stay asleep. Sleep Stick is a doctor-developed formula to help you enjoy better sleep and get the rest you need.

Professional treatments for sleep disorders

If a sleep disorder causes sleep deprivation, make an appointment with a sleep specialist for a professional evaluation and treatment.

FAQs About the Stages of Sleep Deprivation

How many hours is considered sleep deprivation?

Less than 7 hours of sleep is considered sleep deprivation.

How can I overcome sleep deprivation?

To overcome sleep deprivation, you can start off by creating a soothing bedtime routine and ensuring you stay away from electronic devices right before bed. People don’t often realize that a healthy diet and regular exercise routine can play an essential part in helping you get the sleep you need. Develop a regular sleep schedule and stick to it- even on weekends or days off. And finally, you should get some extra help with Sleep Stick, a proprietary, doctor-developed formula to help you fall and stay asleep.


Taking the time to assess your sleep habits and ensure that you're getting enough rest can help you improve your overall health and well-being.
Sleep deprivation can lead to various serious health problems and impact your daily life. It's essential to recognize the signs of sleep deprivation and take steps to address and correct it.

If you find yourself having trouble sleeping, try Sleep Stick! It's a revolutionary product developed by a scientist to help you fall asleep and then stay asleep. It's easy to use and has helped countless people achieve a good night's rest.

Try Sleep Stick today and get the sleep you need to feel energized and productive!

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