Sleep Deprivation In America

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We’ve all heard “sleep is important” at some point. This piece of advice is probably one of the least listened to tips. With the ever-increasing pace of life, especially here in Tahoe, sufficient rest and sleep is less and less “needed.” When in fact, sleep is a major necessity that should be taken seriously. Everyone knows how sleep is important. Doctors, mental health experts, and other professionals all agree that sleep plays an important role in a successful life. Nevertheless, The United States seems to be ridden with lethargy and sleep deprivation.

Perhaps this is just not enough to make people pay attention to the problem. Sources have claimed that the mind responds more to negative reactions of sleep deprivation. This means we should learn more about what lack of sleep does to the mind and body rather than what benefits we receive from good rest. This might be effective because the reality is the majority of us relate more to what lack of sleep does.

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First of all, spending over 24 hours without sleep can make your mind feel similar to one with a mental disability such as schizophrenia. Scientists from University of Bonn as well as King’s College of London found that symptoms of mental health can appear in otherwise healthy people due to no sleep. The experiment went a little like this. Participants spent one night getting a good rest and sound sleep, followed by a night of no restoration. They stayed awake by playing games, talking and remaining physical. Directly after, the volunteers underwent prepulse inhibition measurements. Prepulse is a machine that aids the brain with receiving sensory information. With the mechanisms help, the mind can divide stimuli from the environment by importance. The studies proved that even one night of no sleep can affect your brains natural ability to differentiate stimuli. Participants reportedly had unnatural body sensations, distorted perception, and simply “odd thoughts.” For example, one person was under the illusion that they could read thoughts. Most of the subjects sensitivity to light and sound were altered as well. (Universitat Bonn). In most cases, a night of sound sleep can return perception back to its original state, but prolonged effects on your mind and body are almost certain. If deprived of sleep long enough, you could possibly gain irreversible symptoms.

Nobody enjoys depression, or having bipolar tendencies. The feeling of being happy then so suddenly feeling like you just came out of the gutter. Do you enjoy that feeling? If you said yes, then you may want to try lacking sleep. Many research labs and sleep study centers have found that people with extended periods of sleep deprivation tend to be more aggravated and have less control over there negative behavior. These people have a higher chance of reacting poorly to something they dislike, even if it’s nothing but a minor trigger. They also stand a much greater risk of developing depression. Not to mention empathy and the ability to stay positive are some of the first things to go when it comes to lack of sleep (Psychology Today). Also, if you already suffer from disorders such as chronic depression or obsessive-compulsive disorder, you may notice those symptoms heighten. Regardless, try to sleep well if you want to avoid a bad attitude and even worse mental state.

To add more to the never-ending list of downsides of sleep deprivation, there are serious physical tolls lack of sleep can take on you. Multiple research studies have tested and proved that subjects with poor sleep habits tend to have more health issues than those with healthy sleep habits. Sleepless nights can lead to increased risks of diabetes, strokes, heart attacks, and increased blood pressure. No matter the gender, sleep deprivation can kill sex drive. Men and women alike reported having less sexual interest and overall libido when lacking sleep. Poor sleep caused by the apnea syndrome–a widespread health condition among men–was also connected to abnormally low levels of testosterone secretion during nighttime (WebMD).

Just a few other side effects of not giving yourself enough sleep are concentration issues, weight gain, and a suppressed immune system. Lack of concentration is also a leading cause of accidents in a vehicle (Healthline).

In the end, hopefully you’ve been supplied with enough reasons to say no the next time you’re thinking of pulling an all-nighter. If not, you may indulge yourself with lack of concentration, low energy, and decreased memory abilities. You will most likely also experience an altered perception and mood. As well as an inability to control negative moods. Not to mention the strain you’ll put on your body. People who regularly deprive themselves of sleep tend to develop higher chances of heart diseases and diabetes as well as other health problems, and report lowered sex drive and libido. Overall, nothing is a good enough reason to stay out of bed and hurt your future self.  


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