Vision problems due to lack of sleep increase the odds of all sorts of mishaps, such as falls, car crashes or accidents on the job. After pulling an all-nighter, you may find yourself trying to make your way through a fuzzy world. Visual distortions and difficulty focusing are hazardous symptoms of sleep deprivation.
You may even start seeing things that aren't really there, detecting movement out of the corners of your eyes. It can be hard to process peripheral images and those in your direct line of sight at the same time.
Researchers attribute this to your brain's I-function, which integrates information from other parts of the brain. When neurons are deprived of regenerative sleep, they struggle to perform functions such as providing you with a perception of the world around you. As they become less efficient, they cut corners and give you images that contain most of the information you need, but not all. It's like providing only 750 pieces of a 1,000-piece jigsaw puzzle. As this image begins to differ more and more from reality, you experience severe visual distortion. If at this point, you decide to take a drive, you may also experience another sign of sleep deprivation that we'll discuss next.