Sleep deficiency, which includes sleep deprivation, affects people of all ages, races, and ethnicities. Certain groups of people may be more likely to be sleep deficient. Examples include people who:
- Have limited time available for sleep, such as caregivers or people working long hours or more than one job
- Have schedules that conflict with their internal body clocks, such as shift workers, first responders, teens who have early school schedules, or people who must travel for work
- Make lifestyle choices that prevent them from getting enough sleep, such as taking medicine to stay awake, abusing alcohol or drugs, or not leaving enough time for sleep
- Have undiagnosed or untreated medical problems, such as stress, anxiety, or sleep disorders
- Have medical conditions or take medicines that interfere with sleep
Certain medical conditions have been linked to sleep disorders. These conditions include heart failure, heart disease, obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, stroke or transient ischemic attack (mini-stroke), depression, and attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
If you have or have had one of these conditions, ask your doctor whether you might benefit from a sleep study.
A sleep study allows your doctor to measure how much and how well you sleep. It also helps show whether you have sleep problems and how severe they are. For more information, go to the Health Topics Sleep Studies article.
If you have a child who is overweight, talk with the doctor about your child's sleep habits.