Microsleeping: Its Harm and Prevention

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Have you had those episodes where you just space out all of a sudden due to fatigue or sleep-deprivation? Or maybe, you have misplaced your phone, but had recently placed it in the freezer?  These episodes may be microsleeps and is potentially dangerous. Read on if you want to know more about microsleeping and the harm that it may pose.


Microsleeps are the unintentional and short instances when one losses attention. Microsleeps may last for only a brief second to a full two minutes, and are likewise commonly associated by the snapping of the head, blank stares and eye closure for an extended period of time.


In simpler terms, microsleeps are caused by one’s sleepiness. One could control sleepiness, but there are instances when the brain starts to sleep while the body is still awake due to exhaustion or fatigue. These may often happen to one when performing monotonous tasks like typing, or driving. Thus, making its occurrence dangerous.


There are likewise many accidents that have occurred due to microsleeps. Driving is a monotonous activity that can make people more at risk for having microsleeps and end up being unresponsive to any stimuli. Driving at night is even more dangerous since this is the time when the body should usually sleep and feels more exhausted. You may also be walking and have an episode and end up walking against someone or something dangerous. The possibilities are endless. The body is craving for sleep and makes up for it through this little window of opportunities. Sadly, these opportunities come and go even in unexpected instances.


To prevent microsleeps, you should first evaluate your sleeping habits. If you are often sleep-deprived, then you should do something about that. Otherwise, if you find yourself sleepy despite a long sleep. It may be time to get to the root cause. Seek medical help if necessary.

With that being said, it is important for people to let themselves rest. Sleep-deprivation has a number of health risks, but microsleeping does not only endanger a person, but the people surrounding him or her as well.