The Effects Of Sleep Deprivation

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Sleep, an activity that is dedicated for the body to relax after the day is done that is vital for good mental and physical health and overall well being(“Sleep Deprivation and”). Sleeping is supposed to be pure and utter bliss, but can be a pure and utter struggle. People all over the world are constantly burning the midnight oil, pulling all nighters, and compromising their sleep for other activities that seem more desirable. Similarly, one may lose sleep at night because of stress, depression, responsibilities, etc. However, when a person goes long periods of time without sleeping or fails to get a good night’s rest, they may start to see that sleep deprivation can have some dire ramifications. Studies show that a consistent lack of sleep can result in serious metabolic problems, heart problems, car accidents, and performance issues(”Consequences of Insufficient”).

A recent examination finds that people who fail to establish a consistent sleep schedule have a higher probability of developing metabolic disorders like obesity and high cholesterol than those who do have a consistent sleep schedule. “ In fact, for every hour of variability in time to bed and time to bed and time asleep, a person may have up to a 27% greater chance of experiencing a metabolic abnormality”(“Study Links Irregular”). This means that with every hour that is different than a person’s sleep schedule, their chance of developing a metabolic problem rises by 27%. This is an alarming statistic because it is very easy to become out of sync with ones sleep schedule. This study shows that it is important that a person sticks to their sleep schedule, or they could be in for some serious health problems. Also, obesity can cause obstructive sleep apnea, which is when a person’s airways get blocked often during their rest by soft tissue inside of a person’s throat or mouth. Obstructive sleep apnea is different from other types of sleep apnea because breathing airways are obstructed with human tissue, whereas other types can be caused by other things like neurological signals. Obstructive sleep apnea can cause cardiovascular problems as well(“Obstructive Sleep Apnea”).

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Adults that get less than the recommended eight hours of sleep have a higher risk of having high blood pressure and heart disease. While sleeping, a person’s blood pressure naturally lowers. However, staying awake longer than normal means that a person’s blood pressure stays higher than it should be for a longer period of time. High blood pressure can lead to heart disease or even a stroke(“How Does Sleep”), so it is imperative that lost hours of sleep are recovered eventually. Napping throughout the day is a great way to catch up on the hours of sleep that one has failed to get during the night. Heart problems and obesity are easier to prevent and reverse if caught before it gets severe, so it is important to always keep an eye on one’s personal health.

Depriving the body of sleep can lead to many health complications, but a car accident can also be a result. If a person drives while feeling tired, their chances of getting in a car accident is much higher. “According to studies reported by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (2011), drowsiness is blamed for tens of thousands of traffic accidents each year-and 1,500 deaths.” What this data from the NHTSA shows is that a drowsy driver can harm themselves and others if they drive while being sleep deprived(Hockenbury pp. 134-135). When a driver feels tired, the safest and most effective solution is to simply get off of the road. Driving while soporific is very dangerous and can have severe consequences like permanent injuries, paralysis, or possibly even death. Drowsiness can impair a driver’s focus, reaction time, and their ability to make well thought out decisions.

The most common effects of sleep deprivation is performance issues. This means problems with their cognitive ability, alertness, focus, and memory. A sleep deprived person will struggle with their cognitive ability, which is the ability that allows a person to think a process information(“How Sleep Deprivation”). A sleep deprived person can also have trouble being alert during the day, affecting their job performance or their grades. They may also have trouble focusing on what is happening throughout the day, which can be dangerous for people who work in dangerous environments. Having difficulty remembering things is a common problem with sleep deprivation, making it easier to forget important occasions, assignments, responsibilities, and events. Going to school or work can be stressful enough as it is, and sleep deprivation can make it so much worse by affecting a person’s mind and thoughts.

Most effects of sleep deprivation are preventable and reversible if treated correctly. In most cases, catching up on missed hours of sleep is the most effective and simple remedy. However, some medical conditions can prevent a person from sleeping well, making their condition even worse. If any of the effects of sleep deprivation worsen or do not go away, seeking professional medical attention is highly recommended(“Sleep Deprivation And”).

When a person has not slept well, they can experience many complications like metabolic disorders, heart problems, car accidents, and performance issues. Sleep deprivation can cause metabolic disorders, including but not limited to obesity and high cholesterol. Being deprived of sleep can also cause heart problems like high cholesterol, high blood pressure, heart disease, or possibly even a stroke. If a person drives while feeling tired, their chances of getting into a car accident raises significantly and they can seriously harm themselves or others in the process. This is due to the fact that sleep deprivation can negatively affect a person’s cognitive ability, which makes it harder for a person to remember things, think clearly, and make good decisions. All effects of sleep deprivation can be severe, but reversible. It is important to remember to get a good night’s rest to keep one’s physical and mental state in good health.    


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