What’s the Big Deal About Sleep Deprivation?
“A good laugh and a long sleep are the two best cures for anything” Anon
As summer comes to a close and the school year starts back up, after school programs, sports and activities and parents working full-time, many people go through a period of adjustment with scheduling and in many cases find themselves going without the sleep they need to be a fully functioning human being.
Today’s topic affects each of us to some degree or another and we all have our times and seasons. Sleep is a necessary part of life, yet here in America we’ve almost been conditioned to believe getting more done - is better, at the expense of a good nights sleep. As more and more studies are done on the subject of sleep deprivation, the picture becomes clearer and clearer that sleep is crucial to every level of the human experience: mentally, emotionally, physically and spiritually. Sleep isn’t necessarily something that can be 'made up’, however, studies indicate short-term sleep deprivation has much less impact than chronic sleep deprivation. The damage in ultimately done when chronic conditions set in, but don’t be fooled, as you will shortly realize that short term deficits can be just as dangerous, and seeing as how 50-70 million Americans suffer from it even the CDC has declared publicly that sleep deprivation is a public health problem. Every 1 in 3 adults are affected, and children and teens are not far behind.
WHAT HAPPENS TO THE HUMAN BODY AND LIFE WHEN SLEEP DEPRIVED?
Many, many things:
Increased risk of high blood pressure
Increased risk of heart disease
Increased risk of obesity
Increased risk of diabetes
Compromised hormone production
Lowered levels of growth hormone
Lowered levels of testosterone
Ages one faster
Impairs judgement (especially about sleep)
Slower response time
Lack of sleep has a particularly deleterious effect on the brain, as well:
Impaired cognitive function
CHRONIC SLEEP DEPRIVATION AND TEENS:
Diminishes the brains ability to learn new information and can lead to emotional issues, depression and/or aggression.
Decision making (Careless/risky choices)
SLEEP DEPRIVATION AND SOCIETY:
Medical errors: Medical errors are the 3rd leading cause of death in the U.S.
LATEST STUDIES SUGGEST:
When an individual is sleep deprived select regions of the brain can be ‘dozing’, while other parts of the brain are awake and running as usual. Being sleep deprived can be likened to being drunk.
Sleeping under 6 hours has a negative affect on 700 genes. So, even though a person might say they feel better on less sleep, in the long run it my be better to get more.
Adults typically require 8 hours sleep each night
Teens typically require 8-11 hours sleep per night
Children typically require 10 hours sleep per night
WHAT DO YOU THINK?
Do you think there ought to be something legal put into place?
Have you ever stopped to think about the number of people on prescriptions and sleep deprived out driving around, performing surgeries, operating heavy machinery and flying jets?
Be careful folks. Watch out for your kids and create good sleep habits when they’re young and make it a family priority. Set a good example yourself, chances are more than likely you could use the sleep yourself.