Sleep deprivation, also known as sleep insufficiency or sleeplessness, is the condition of not having adequate duration and/or quality of sleep to support decent alertness, performance, and health. It can be either chronic or acute and may vary widely in severity. Acute sleep deprivation is when an individual sleeps less than usual or does not sleep at all for a short period of time – usually lasting one to two days. Chronic sleep deprivation means when an individual routinely sleeps less than an optimal amount for ideal functioning. Chronic sleep deficiency is often confused with the term insomnia. Although both chronic sleep deficiency and insomnia share decreased quantity and/or quality of sleep as well as impaired function, their difference lies on the ability to fall asleep. Sleep deprived individuals are able to fall asleep rapidly when allowed but those suffering from insomnia have difficulty falling asleep.
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Using sleep deprivation to combat severe depression may seem odd, but for some it’s the only thing th...