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Cause and Effects of Sleep Deprivation Essay

Cause and Effect Essay

There are many people today who figure out there are not enough waking hours in a day to accomplish all that needs to be done. Daily tasks and obligations can take up a lot of time and in order for people to get these things done they cut corners on sleep. One might rationalize that a few hours here and there won’t make any difference, but lack of sleep can make a huge difference on a person’s mental and physical health. Lack of sleep can potentially be very harmful, anyone who gets an average of less than seven hours of sleep could be affected greatly. Not getting enough sleep can increase the chances of getting sick. Extended sleep deprivation has been linked with diminished immune system functions. Researchers have also found a direct connection between people who get less than six hours of sleep appear to have a reduced immune response.

A lack of sleep can also increase a person’s risk of developing chronic diseases. Almost 90% of people who suffer from sleep deprivation also suffer from another life threatening health condition. Some of these diseases include: diabetes, heart disease, heart failure, heart attack, and high blood pressure. Not only can sleep damage one physically but it can also damage a person mentally. Sleep is essential to the quick thinking processes that are associated with learning. A lack of sleep can bring down the alertness of the mind and it’s attention span that makes it easier for one to learn and take in information. The shortage of attention can also limit a person’s ability to reason or solve a problem effectively. This means that people who are fatigued cannot learn at an effective level. Even if one can manage to learn a significant amount of information during the day, the person will not be able to remember everything if he or she does not allow their body to get enough sleep to store all of the information in the long-term area in the brain. Avoiding a lot of deep sleep can damage long-term memory and can also lead to excessive forgetfulness. Skills that have been learned during the day are converted into memories during the night. “Sharp wave ripples” are brain events used to strengthen memory. This makes things the brain has learned easy to access and recall.

These ripples also transfer short-term memory information into the neocortex and the hippocampus where they can become long-term knowledge. This occurs at its strongest rate during the deepest part of a person’s sleep cycle. If not taken seriously, lack of sleep can cause much damage to the brain and other organs of the body. On average a person should be getting at least 7 hours of sleep per night. Less than seven hours of sleep per night could affect someone mentally and physically. Sleep is more important than one would realize and it is essential for the sound use of the mind, body, and their functions.

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