Open Access Peer-reviewed Review

Sleep deprivation: A toxicogenic drive for neurodegenerative diseases and public health issue

Main Article Content

Onyenmechi Johnson Afonne corresponding author
Emeka Chinedu Ifediba
Anulika Johnson Afonne


Sleep deprivation is gradually becoming a common phenomenon in modern societies, especially among chronic users of social media, night shifts workers, students and some less-privileged populations. The erroneous perception among certain subgroups of the population that time spent to sleep is time wasted is of great concern, because sleep is indeed critical for good health and survival. Of greater concern are the effects of alcohol, beverages like caffeine, and environmental toxicants like heavy metals and pesticides, on normal sleep mechanisms. The consequences of sleep disorder are dire as it alters immune responses and have been reported to increase the risk of some non-communicable diseases. The inter-individual differences in sleep requirements may present a challenge in determining adequate sleep duration. On the average, most adults need about seven to eight hours of sleep each night while teens and children need more. Accumulation of sleep debt for individuals sleeping less than the required sleeping duration may lead to chronic health and behavioural problems. We opine that the mechanisms underlying sleep disruption by some foods and toxicants have toxicogenic link. There is need, therefore, to consider sleep deprivation as a public health issue with a view to ensuring proper advocacy among risk groups in order to improve quality of life and economy of nations. Given the prevalence of alcohol and caffeine consumption, exposures to heavy metals and pesticides, and increasing neurodegenerative disorders, there is need to elucidate the precise mechanisms of sleep disruption and exposures to the aforementioned chemicals.

environmental toxicants, neurodegenerative diseases, public health, sleep deprivation, toxicogenic drive

Article Details

How to Cite
Afonne, O. J., Ifediba, E. C., & Afonne, A. J. (2022). Sleep deprivation: A toxicogenic drive for neurodegenerative diseases and public health issue. Advances in Health and Behavior, 5(1), 233-241.


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