Skip to main content


Night Owl Nightmare – Sleep Deprivation As Abuse

Purposefully depriving a partner of their sleep may not leave bruising or scars, but it takes a toll on the rest of the body. A few side effects include:

  1. Impaired attention, alertness, concentration, reasoning, and problem solving.
  2. Serious health problems, such as heart disease, heart attack, heart failure, irregular heartbeat, high blood pressure, stroke, and diabetes,
  3. Intensify symptoms of depression.
  4. Ages your skin.
  5. May cause weight gain.

In abuse survivor Alice Harmon's blog, she shares that "most states consider purposeful, repeated, and unnecessary sleep deprivation to be a form of physical abuse. She strengthens her point by quoting that "the United Nations defines sleep deprivation as torture."

The Center for Disease Control provides a lot of information on the suggested hours of sleep for different ages. Adults need at least 7+ hours of sleep per night.

CDC Tips for Better Sleep

  • Good sleep habits (sometimes referred to as “sleep hygiene”) can help you get a good night’s sleep.
  • Some habits that can improve your sleep health:
  • Be consistent. Go to bed at the same time each night and get up at the same time each morning, including on the weekends
  • Make sure your bedroom is quiet, dark, relaxing, and at a comfortable temperature
  • Remove electronic devices, such as TVs, computers, and smart phones, from the bedroom
  • Avoid large meals, caffeine, and alcohol before bedtime
  • Get some exercise. Being physically active during the day can help you fall asleep more easily at night.

One article shares a survivor’s story this way, “You would pretend to be asleep, then you would have to pretend to wake up. Either way it would be better to be awake, trying to figure out what he wanted or what he was going to do next.” Going a step further, missing out on our sleep can wreak havoc on how we interact with others in our environment. People within our support circles are often secondary victims of our lack of sleep. We may act or speak in ways that make our loved ones feel insignificant or bothersome when they just want to play  or be near us. If you have a partner who is using this form of abuse to sabotage your ability to maintain a balanced life, please consider talking to someone you trust about what is going on, or call Care Lodge today to speak with an advocate who cares.

It’s never too late to get help. Care Lodge 601.693.4673

Want to dive deeper into this topic? Check out this link on sleep deprivation and abuse here

#carelodgems #nightowlnightmare #sleepawarenessweek

Photo by Lina Kivaka from Pexels

Submit Your Idea Or Request To Appear As A Guest On The Podcast or YouTube Channel

YouTube Channel: Care Lodge - Living Well

SoundCloud: Finding Your Way

What should we talk about on a future episode?
Suggestions for a special guest on this episode?
What content have you appreciated most that we have provided so far?

Our Contributors

  • United Way of East Mississippi
    United Way of East Mississippi