Whether or Not Sleep Deprivation can Affect Us Physically and Mentally

My Question

The question whether or not sleep deprivation can affect us physically and mentally? There are millions of people who suffer from a lack of sleep. Sleep deprivation is very common disorder I happen to suffer from it too. One of my questions was how being deprived of sleep affects teenagers academic performance? Another question I have is what can someone do inorder to get back on the road to a restful night’s sleep? My interest in this research paper is to fully understanding what was happening to me when I was young My freshman year of high school, I wouldn’t get the necessary hours of sleep to function properly. The main reason I would stress about was my fathers well being. He was never really into school, he was more of a hands on type of person, so he got a construction job. My mother at the time was not working so it was just my father providing for our family. The thought that my dad could have an accident at work scared me so much, I would beg him to try and change professions. Losing my dad and having to a step up as the man of the house scared me.

I know that sleep deprivation hinders learning because during most of my classes I would be so tired I couldn’t think at all. I also know that anxiety and stress causes sleep deprivation. Something I know about this sleeping problem is that is very common across all ages, and that it varied by factors, work , lifestyle, and ages. From watching the News I could confirm that sleep deprivation is an epidemic that affects teens the most.

My Search Process

The hardest part of this I search essay was coming up with a topic that would either make me reflect on the kind of person I really am or the person I want to become. Eventually I decided that I would go with both. I immediately reflected to my lowest points in my life, that’s when I realised that my freshman year I had horrible grades and I would get sick easily because I wouldn’t sleep enough. I started off by googling sleep deprivation and the consequences of not getting enough sleep and how one could prevent the deprivation. The internet was full of information that I will enlist further in this essay. The internet was very useful, but I wanted the opinion of a someone close to me, so I went and asked some friends if they’ve faced some similar sleep issues. Only one of them had the same issue as I did, my friend Matias gave me some useful information on how he was able to regain his restful nights. He also appointed me to some good websites that are reliable and that have some very useful information on my topic. I was also able to get some useful information from the COS database from which Mr. Stern appointed to. The MLA citations were also from the database. There were some challenges I faced along the way, one being the search process. Most of the websites I found had the same information, it was really hard finding useful information after the fourth body paragraph. I had also spoke to the librarian at school and she appointed me to some text books that were of no help. After gathering at least 7 websites and one book from the COS database, I was able to start typing my research paper.

What I Have Learned

Sleep deprivation can be defined as “a sufficient lack of restorative sleep over a cumulative period so as to cause physical or psychiatric symptoms and affect routine performances of tasks” according to The Free Dictionary By Farlex. Sleep deprivation can affect both children and adults, it occurs when someone doesn’t get enough sleep to function properly. Depending on your age group it varies how much sleep you require so that you could be alert and on track. Sleep deprivation tends to affect teenagers and children more often than adults. An ongoing pattern of sleep deprivation leads to obesity, poor school/job performance, and daytime sleepiness.

Sleep has its positive and negative effects as time has progressed sleep has become a modern epidemic that is causing Americans to perform poorly in everyday routines. The National Sleep Foundation (NSF) conducted a research in December 2014 that looked into the lives of Americans’, what sleeping problems they had and how it would affect their health.

According to a poll that was conducted by the (NSF) the majority of American adults that slept poorly sixtyseven percent reported having “poor” or “only fair” health quality. The other thirty three percent of people that had a restful night sleep reported having good health quality. If one gets a good night’s rest it will reflect on their health (NSF).

Sleep disorders have also been proven to hinder learning and cause poor academic performance. In the article, Most High School Students Are Sleep Deprived, by Sylviane Duval, Duval conducted a study that found that on only eight percent of high school students get enough sleep. The other ninety two percent of high school students may be suffering from “daytime drowsiness, headaches, depression, and poorer performance while at school” (Duval). Duval also found that on an average school night a Duval also found that ten percent of adolescents only sleep five hours and twenty three percent sleep only six hours on average. This lack of sleep can and will affect academic performance if a student is going to be sleepy during the day. If one school was found with these results there could be schools across the world that are facing the same problem (Duval).

There also an abundance of health issues that sleep deprivation causes. According to The Sleep Deprivation: 8 Scary Side Effects of Too Little Shut Eye, Sarah Klein shares the negative effects of not getting enough sleep. The symptoms are grogginess, not being focused, and sluggish, however there are more symptomes one can’t really see unless they experience it. The side effects of sleep deprivation also include “Increases in stroke, weight gain, diabetes risks, and damaged bones” (Klein). The side effects of sleep deprivation are more serious than people really know or expect. One could become hungry, sluggish, or angry much faster than a person who gets a well restful night sleep. People that are sleep deprived tend to be functioning with a least half of the energy as a well rested being.

Not being able to think clearly is also a symptom of sleep deprivation, it acts as a drug in a way. In the article, Sleep Deprivation and teens: ‘Walking zombies, Strauss examined high school students in terms of alertness all of them failed. The ability to be aware of their surroundings gets affected because all of the teens lose one hour of sleep that they require. Higher rates of anxiety disorders and depression were founded within a 2010 study in the journal Sleep. The research also found that “teenagers who go to bed after midnight are twenty-four percent more likely to suffer from depression and twenty percent more likely to consider harming themselves” (Strauss). The effects of being deprived of sleep is something that could change lives and its effects won’t fade away so easily.

Being sleep deprived has its negative effects while one is either at work or school. In the article Adolescent Sleep Needs And Patterns, the National Sleep Association affirms that students “who are earning C’s or below in school report [are] getting less sleep”(NSA). When one doesn’t get the necessary hours of sleep during the night, those hours are going to have to made. Students tend to fall asleep during class and it reflects on their grades. Students are more likely to forget new material that is taught at school, because they have no focusing ability. A lack of focus, memory loss, and drowsiness are some symptoms that being deprived of sleep causes. Being sleep deprived doesn’t just take its toll on the body, but on mind too.

There are millions of things that prevent sleep amongst our society at this advanced era. In the article TV And Smart Phones May Hamper A Good Night’s Sleep, according to a poll by the National Sleep Foundation, over fifty percent of Americans get a good night’s sleep. Doctors and other experts blame “our smartphones, our laptops, our TVs, all that technology” (NSF). According to the experts there’s always something to distract people from getting a good night’s rest. There are artists that release new music late at night. There are people who stay up at night just to catch up on some episodes of their favorite show. There are abundances of reasons for teens to stay up for. In regardance to teenagers there are gaming consoles, that could and will keep them from getting their necessary sleep time.

Sleep deprivation has also been known to cause major accidents in regards to motorized vehicles. In the book Sleep Disorders and Sleep Deprivation: An Unmet Public Health Problem, according to the Institute of Medicine (IOM) Committee on Sleep Medicine and Research there are also many short and long term health consequences. Some consequences include “an increased risk of hypertension, diabetes, obesity, depression, heart attack, and stroke” (IOM). There are also some consequences of sleep deprivation that take years to overcome, one being psychiatric issues (anxiety, depression). Sleep deprivation can also causes individuals to feel so sleepy during the day. Motor vehicle accidents are often caused by sleep deprived people almost twenty percent. People that have “sleep apnea are at twice the risk of having a traffic accident as unaffected individuals” (Institution of Medicine). The amount of alcohol accidents are similar to that of drivers who fall asleep on the wheel. At the end of the day not getting sufficient sleep acts as a drug, one isn’t in full control of what their doing.

What This Means To Me

I think the biggest piece of information that I didn’t know was that your chances of depression increase if you maintain a bad sleeping routine. The information I provided in section one did match with what the experts said, one example would be that anxiety also causes sleep deprivation. The horrible grades I earned my freshman year of high school did reflect on the inability to pay attention in class because I was too tired. All the information I found will help me understand that I must get the sleep necessary for my own safety, I could also use this new information to spread awareness. I’m a really emotional person so when I read that the chances of depression increase if one doesn’t get enough sleep really made me fear for my own safety. This particular research paper was far better than a traditional paper because it lets the student discover something that they want other than just looking for information on what the teacher wants. This project certainly did have a lot of value and meaning for myself because I got to reflect on the times my life had little meaning and how I changed that. I used to be really negative and now that I get a decent amount of sleep im always in a better mood.

Work Cited

  1. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/307334.php
  2. http://www.cfah.org/hbns/2010/most-high-school-students-are-sleep-deprived
  3. https://www.everydayhealth.com/sleep/sleep-deprivation-effects-scary-side-effects-of-too-little-shut-eye.aspx
  4. https://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/answer-sheet/post/sleep-deprivation-and-teens-walking-zombies/2012/03/10/gIQAr0QP3R_blog.html?noredirect=on&utm_term=.417ad5c87eea
  5. https://www.sleepfoundation.org/sites/default/files/sleep_and_teens_report1.pdf
  6. https://www.npr.org/2011/03/11/134459354/TV-And-Smart-Phones-May-Hamper-A-Good-Nights-Sleep
  7. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK19963/#a2000f7efddd00194
  8. https://medical-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/sleep+deprivation