The individual need for sleep varies greatly, from between five to 10 hours a night. Insufficient sleep is no joke. It has serious physical and psychological consequences that are often ignored. Interrogators in every country know that total sleep deprivation is a form of torture, which victims have described as even worse than hunger or thirst. Even when there are no pre-existing mental problems, chronic sleep insufficiency can make a person crazy all by itself.
The simulated driving test is a good way to measure mental impairment. Provided that a person knows how to drive in the first place, the before-and-after results for an individual can be evaluated by how they do on a test like this. Troxell and Simonich quote Professor Mack Mahowald on the grave result of even one night of miss
One complete night of sleep deprivation is as impairing in simulated driving tests as a legally intoxicating blood-alcohol level.
Some of the results of sleep deficit include aching muscles, confusion, depression, tremors, headache, irritability, and hallucinations. Sleep deprivation can have bad medical consequences. This information comes from Dr. Eve Van Cauter, of the University of Chicago’s School of Medicine:
Dr. Cauter’s research indicates that, ‘Chronic sleep loss may not only hasten the onset but also increase the severity of age-related ailments such as diabetes, hypertension, obesity, and memory loss. Also, it is believed that people, especially men, who fail to get good quality sleep, often are more likely to experience depression.’
The shelter sleepers who have responded to the survey reported having only a little over five hours of sleep per night. More than 90% said they needed more sleep, and 70% said that, at times, the lack of sufficient sleep left them so tired they felt unable to function normally during the day. Housed citizens, take note: A street person who is scorned for acting weird might not even be drunk or drugged, or mentally impaired, only sleep-deprived.