Meet ‘Leah’, a CGI representation of the human body, created by mattress specialist Otty, that aims to highlight the potential consequences of not getting enough sleep. Leah was created as a warning to those suffering from insomnia, a condition that makes it difficult to fall asleep.
As many as one-third of UK adults have the condition, a figure which increases to more than half in those aged 65 and over.
According to Sleep.org, there are three telltale signs that professionals will use to diagnose a case of insomnia:
- Difficulty falling asleep
- Trouble staying asleep
- Poor sleep quality
After 24 hours of little-to-no sleep, Leah will really begin to feel the effects of sleep deprivation. Her brain will start to shut down and it will be difficult to function normally on everyday tasks.
She will become extremely drowsy and irritable, and stress levels will begin to rise. She is likely to become angry or short-tempered at the smallest of matters.
Leah may also fall victim to decreased alertness, making her more prone to clumsiness and potentially dangerous accidents.
After three days of little-to-no sleep, the side effects from sleep deprivation will become more dangerous for Leah and her health.
Her mind will go into a state of dysphoria and she may well start hallucinating. The physical effects will start damaging her body, and it could even become difficult for her to walk or move.
Sleep and insomnia expert, Hussain Abdeh, clinical director and superintendent pharmacist at Medicine Direct, said: ‘Such a lengthy period of time without sleep can cause a lot of stress to the body.
‘Complex hallucinations may arise after such a long time without sleeping. You may see things that are not there or have seriously impaired vision. Depersonalisation, where you feel detached from your own body with no control, can also occur.
‘You may experience a great deal of pain due to the body aching from tiredness. Muscle contractions may become worse, and your eyes will also ache from not being able to rest properly.
‘Such a long period of time without sleep can wear your body down to the point where your immune system can no longer function properly. This can put you at an increased risk of various health conditions, including strokes, heart disease, high blood pressure, mental illnesses, and type 2 diabetes.
‘You are also likely to experience microsleep for longer and more frequent periods. It would not be unusual for you to collapse.’
Andrew Jacobs, digital marketing manager at Otty said: ‘30% of the country suffers from sleep issues. While most of us wake up one or two times a night, others experience extreme difficulty falling or staying asleep.
‘We’ve created these life-like images to highlight the importance of sleep to both our physical and mental health. As you can see, within as little as 24 hours the body will start to shut down, which can have detrimental effects on our well-being.’
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