Sleep deprivation: Know the risks

Sleep deprivation is common, but that doesn't make it any less dangerous. Find out how a lack of sleep can affect your mind, weight and immune system. By Mayo Clinic Staff

Sleep deprivation is more harmful that you might realize. Understand the possible consequences of sleep deprivation and what you can do about it.

What is sleep deprivation?

Sleep deprivation occurs when you don't get enough sleep to feel alert and well rested. While the amount of sleep a person needs varies a little, most adults need about seven to eight hours of sleep every night.

Sleep deprivation can occur if you don't get enough total hours of sleep or as a result of poor quality sleep. Common causes of sleep deprivation include work hours, medical conditions, stress and personal obligations, such as caring for a baby or a sick loved one.

Sept. 28, 2013 See more In-depth