what are the effects of less than 4 hours of sleep?


Sleep deprivation, even for a single night with less than four hours of sleep, affects the entire brain and can have a range of negative effects on different systems. Some of these effects include:

  • Impairment in cognitive function, making people irritable and causing visual hallucinations 1.
  • Disruption of REM sleep, which is crucial for emotional processing, leading to problems like inability to uncouple emotion from past events and turning minor irritants into major issues 2.
  • Impact on physical and mental health due to alterations in autonomic function, leading to increased heart rate, decreased heart rate variability, and increased insulin resistance, even when sleeping in a moderately lit room 3.

    Sleep Deprivation Effects

    Andrew and Matthew discuss the effects of sleep deprivation on brain activity. They talk about how sleep deprivation affects the entire brain and can lead to visual hallucinations and decreased motor coordination. Andrew shares a personal experience of feeling like his forebrain was going offline after several days of sleep deprivation.

    Huberman Lab

    Dr. Matthew MacDougall: Neuralink & Technologies to Enhance Human Brains | Huberman Lab Podcast
  • Association with mood disorders such as depression; sleep deprivation can temporarily reduce symptoms of depression, but this effect is lost upon resumption of sleep. It highlights the complex relationship between sleep, mood, and insomnia 4.
  • Affecting muscle repair, learning, and hormonal regulation during deep non-REM sleep, and emotional processing and testosterone levels during REM sleep 5 6.

It is important to seek medical attention for chronic sleep deprivation or insomnia, as these conditions can have long-term impacts on your health.