Sleep deprivation is a major problem, especially among us teenagers. We tend to ignore our body’s needs in order to cram for that test tomorrow or to do some other project that we’ve been putting off. I’m guilty of doing this and I am sure some of you are as well. However, sleep deprivation affects us more than we know.
Sleep deprivation usually results in minor consequences, but the has potential to majorly impact your health. Several minor health issues include being more susceptible to cold viruses due to a weakened immune system, feeling fatigued constantly, having headaches from fatigue, and a rise in blood pressure. A hallucination although in itself generally harmless, is a sign that you haven’t slept in approximately five days and are at risk of dying. Lack of sleep, over a period of time it can increase the risk of you having an earlier death. The doubled risk of death from cardiovascular disease is another example of a more severe consequence. Lack in sleep also raises the levels of some substances in the blood that indicate an amplified state of inflammation in the body, which is a major risk factor for heart disease, stroke, cancer and diabetes.
Little to no sleep significantly lowers the rate at which you perform: attention, concentration, reasoning, problem solving, memory, and learning are just some of the skills that are impaired. Scientists have even proven that staying awake all night, even for just one night, can make you function at a legally drunk blood-alcohol level in a driving test. A lack of sleep can also contribute to anxiety or depression or increase the severity of the symptoms. It does this by putting the body into a state of high alert, which increases the production of stress hormones. We also start to have a difficult time coping with emotions and may respond immaturely to situations, which could impact your personal and working relationships.
There is an easy solution though. Turn off your computer, your T.V, or other electronics about an hour or two before bed. Also try to get at least a half hour of exercise. It makes a big difference. As for actually sleeping, 9 or more hours a night is recommended by the American Sleep Association.