1.) Moodiness & Irritability – If you find yourself overly moody or irritable you may be excessively sleepy or sleep deprived. Our mood is the first visible factor affected by a lack of sleep. Research consistently shows that people that do not get a proper amount of sleep are less productive, more irritable, easily annoyed, and overall less happy. Moodiness and irritability has a negative effect on relationships with family members and coworkers. As a result, the afflicted is less capable of handling stressful situations with ease and has difficulty multitasking.
2.) Slowed speech – Slowed, slurred, or less articulate speech is a common sign of excessive sleepiness or sleep deprivation. The brain uses sleep to recharge from daily activities, when an individual experiences lack of sleep the brain has to work harder to keep up with its internal processes. One area of the brain that shows visible signs of lack of sleep is the temporal lobe of the cerebral cortex which is responsible for processing language. Speech and creative thinking come from the frontal lobe of the brain. When sleep deprivation occurs this area malfunctions or stops working.
3.) Memory loss – Cognitive problems such as slowed reaction time and memory loss can occur as a result of too little shut-eye. Sleep is critical for brain functioning, and without it the brain is incapable of operating at its optimal level. As you sleep, your brain renews the areas of the brain that store information vital for memory and critical thinking. When you feel sleep deprived, the brain has to work harder to keep up, causing your mental response time to be slower than typical.
4.) Poor Spatial Reasoning – The hippocampus is the part of the brain which is tasked with the development of spatial memory. Spatial reasoning is the ability to remember how to get from your house to work or a new location. It is also the ability to identify the distance between two objects, or how large an object is from a distance. Excessive sleepiness impairs this area of the brain from learning new spatial memories. As a result, you may have difficulty remembering how to get from point A to point B or may feel more clumsy than usual.
5.) Lapses in attention – Excessive sleepiness leads to recurrent lapses in attention. As the brain is working harder than normal due to sleep deprivation, it has a harder time focusing on multiple factors at once. As a result, a sleep deprived individual has difficulty focusing on tasks at work, has difficulty dealing with stressful situations, and is prone to nod off in the middle of executing everyday tasks such as reading and driving.
6.) Hallucinations – Severe sufferers of excessive sleepiness may experience hallucinations, or the perception of something that is not present in real life. Hallucinations take place after 24 hours or longer with little to no sleep. Hallucinations occur as a result of the brain slowing down the transfer of neurons. This causes the individual to see things from their subconscious that do not presently exist. In severe cases, sufferers may also experience symptoms of paranoia similar to schizophrenia.