Sleep Deprivation

Sleep     1

Sleep Deprivation and its Effects

                                                                                                                                Sleep     2

            The definition of sleep deprivation is a chronic lack of sufficient restorative sleep

(Glossary of Terms, n.d.). To put it in simple terms, sleep deprivation is a sleep debt. The

more sleep lost each night the larger the debt will become. I live with sleep deprivation in

my every day life. I know the effects firsthand.

            To overcome the obstacle of sleep deprivation I must research it, understand

it, and evaluate possible solutions. I need to understand the short and long-term

consequences of sleep deprivation, the reasons my body needs sleep, and the methods

used to help those who have been through sleep deprivation before me.

            Once the consequences of sleep deprivation are known the reasons why we need

to sleep will also be known. When someone lives with a sleep debt it raises the risk for

depression, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and obesity. A sleep debt can also impair

alertness. This increases the risk for errors, impaired concentration, and slower reaction

time. It can affect relationships when the sleep debt causes impatience, crankiness, and

irritability. Sleep deprivation has been known to cause workplace accidents and traffic

accidents (Sleep Deprivation, 2002-2010).

            According to Harvard Health Publications 2007, there are six main reasons the

body needs the proper amount of sleep. Sleep aids in the commitment of new information

to the memory part of the brain. It is a process called memory consolidation. The correct

amount of sleep helps maintain correct metabolism and body weight. Sleep deprivation

has been known to cause weight gain. It alters metabolic functions, by releasing excess

cortisol, while reducing levels of leptin. Cortisol is a stress...