Psychological Effects one can have due to Sleep Deprivation

Custom Student Mr. Teacher ENG 1001-04 31 October 2016

Psychological Effects one can have due to Sleep Deprivation

According to Kozier et Al. (2002), sleep is the state of being conscious wherein there is a decrease of perception, and reaction to the environment of an individual (p. 953). Sleep exerts physiologic effects on both the nervous systems and other body structures and also it restores normal levels of activity and balance among parts of the nervous systems (p. 956). There are two types of sleep, NREM sleep and REM sleep, NREM sleep or non-REM sleep is a deep, restful sleep and some physiologic functions were decreased.

It is also referred to as a low wave sleep because when a person sleeps the brain waves tends to slow than the alpha and beta waves of an awake person. NREM sleep is divided into four stages: stage 1- very light sleep wherein the person feels drowsy and relaxed, stage 2- light sleep that will last only from ten to fifteen minutes, stage 3- domination of parasympathetic nervous systems that slows down the heart and respiratory rates as well as other body processes and sometimes snoring may occur and the fourth stage will be the deep sleep is thought to restore the body physically, dreams and rolling of the eyes may occur in this stage.

Another type of sleep is the REM sleep or the rapid eye movement sleep that constitutes 25% of sleep of a young adult and usually recurs every ninety minutes and lasts five to thirty minutes. On the other hand, dreams in REM sleep were usually remembered because it is consolidated in the memory (pp. 953-954). There are many factors that may affect sleep of an individual, quality of sleep and quantity of sleep were both affected by a number of factors.

The quality of sleep is the ability of an individual to stay asleep and to get the required amount of REM and NREM sleep while the quantity of sleep is the total time the individual sleeps. Age, environment fatigue, life style, psychological stresses are just some of the factors that indeed affects the sleep of an individual (p. 956). Literature Review In an internet article, they listed six persons that have a contribution in sleep research. A French Scientist Henri Pieron authored a book entitled “Le probleme physiologique du sommeil,” which was the first text to examine sleep from a physiological perspective.

This work is usually regarded as the beginning of the modern approach to sleep research. Dr. Nathaniel Kleitman, now known as the “Father of American sleep research,” he started working in Chicago in the 1920’s questioning the regulation of sleep and wakefulness and of circadian rhythms. Kleitman’s crucial work included studies of sleep characteristics in different populations and the effect of sleep deprivation. Another contributor is questioning the regulation of sleep and wakefulness and of circadian rhythms.

Kleitman’s crucial work included studies of sleep characteristics in different populations and the effect of sleep deprivation. Dr. William C. Dement extended Dr. Kleitman’s path of research. Dement described the “cyclical” nature of nocturnal sleep in 1955, and in 1957 and ’58 established the relationship between REM sleep and dreaming. In 1958, he published a paper explaining that in a sleeping cat there is a cyclic organization existence, thus creating an explosion of fundamental research that gathers researchers from different fields of specialty.

For the next 20 years, Michel Jouvet leads to an identification of REM sleep as an independent state of alertness, which he called “paradoxical sleep. Another one is H. Gastaut and his colleagues discovered the presence of apnea during sleep in a subgroup of “Pickwickian” patients (1965) that lead them to an outbreak of investigations of the control exercised by the “sleeping brain” on the body’s vital functions. His work eventually led to the new discipline of “sleep medicine” (A brief history of sleep research, “n. a. ”).

Sleep deprivation and its causes According to Kozier et Al. (2002), sleep deprivation is only one out of many common sleep disorders. They defined sleep deprivation as a syndrome of prolonged disturbance that leads the amount, quality, and consistency of sleep to decrease and thus produces a variety of physiologic and behavioral symptoms, its harshness will depend on the degree of the deprivation. Again there are two types of sleep deprivation REM and NREM deprivation, the combination of the two deprivation increases the severity of symptoms.

Alcohol, barbiturates, shift work, jet lag, extended ICU hospitalization, morphine, and meperidine hydrochloride are the causes of REM deprivation, while all of the causes of REM deprivation plus diazepam flurazepam hydrochloride, hypothyroidism, depression, respiratory distress disorders, sleep apnea, and age causes NREM deprivation, and both REM and NREM deprivation is caused from the combination of both REM and NREM deprivation causes (p. 959).

Another cause of sleep deprivation is from the psychological stress wherein anxiety and depression frequently disturb sleep. A person can’t relax adequately to get to sleep if he or she is having a personal problem. Another factor is alcohol and stimulants, people who drinks alcohol excessively has the higher rates of sleep disturbances. Alcohol disrupts REM sleep even though it fastens the onset of sleep. Diet- weight loss is accompanied with reduced total sleep time as well as broken sleep and earlier awakening.

Smoking, cigarettes contains nicotine that has stimulating effects on the body and may cause in difficulty of falling asleep. Motivation, person’s desire to stay awake can cause a fatigue, and illness, an ill person is more prone to sleep deprivation, in their condition they need to have more sleep, but a patient in a hospital is disturb by their time to take their medicines, and respiratory conditions can also disturb sleep thus disturbing their total time of sleep a person is required to have (p. 956).

Psychological and physical effects of sleep deprivation The effects of sleep deprivation to the body is like a chain reaction, its main target is the brain, since the brain is the control unit of the body, the brain controls and is responsible for the homeostasis of the body, once the brain is affected many imbalances may occur. For REM deprivation excitability, restlessness, irritability, increased sensitivity to pain, confusion and suspiciousness, and emotional liability can possibly be the effects. For NREM deprivation one may show hyporesponsiveness, withdrawal, apathy, feeling physically uncomfortable, lack of facial expression, and speech deterioration.

For both REM and NREM deprivation, inattentiveness, decreased reasoning ability and the ability to concentrate, marked fatigue manifested by blurred vision, itchy eyes, nausea, headache, difficulty in performing activities of daily living, lack of memory, mental confusion, visual or auditory hallucinations and illusions can be its primary effects to one’s both psychological and physical aspect of a person. Since stress is one of the major factor affecting sleep deprivation whether it’s psychological or physical stress.

As you think more and focuses your mind into the problem, your mind will become more fatigue (p. 959). Based on the book by Biron et Al. (2006), stress may lead to some psychological problems and may interfere with effective intrapersonal and the intrapersonal behavior of the individual. A person experiencing prolonged stressful events may suffer from feelings of helplessness and hopelessness, and consequently, undermining his self esteem. Impaired task performance is another effect of stressful mind; it interferes with our ability to successfully perform a task and responsibilities expected.

And disruption of cognitive functioning, people who are under stress are likely to experience loss of concentration, disorientation, and forgetfulness (pp. 184-185). Treatment for sleep deprived persons According to the book made by Kushida (2005), pregnant women are also prone to sleep deprivation. In treating sleep deprivation for pregnant women, they recommended seven treatments to minimize maternal and fetal health risk:

a) women should try to seep on the left side and avoid sleeping in supine position. Avoiding it will ease the stress of the heart, will reduce constriction of the space available to the fetus, will reduce pressure to the inferior vena cava that carries blood back to the heart from the feet and legs, b) if symptoms of RLS are present, consider an evaluation of ferritin, hemoglobin, and folate levels and supplement when indicated, c) treat sleeping- disordered breathing with CPAP, d) avoid staying in bed when unable to seep, e) address anxiety provoking issues to reduce overall level of arousal, f) Consider regular exercise, pregnant women who exercise three times a week for at least thirty minutes have less insomnia and anxiety than pregnant women who do not exercise, and g) treat psychophysiological insomnia with empirically supported cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia (p. 185).

Another form of treatment is discussed by Greist and Jefferson (1992), psychosurgery is a rare treatment; it is not then advisable if other treatments have not been tested to a patient. Careful neurosurgical interruption of brain pathways has been shown that fifty percent of patients has been helped to this kind of treatment (pp. 79-80).

Conclusion: Sleep is really a helpful in obtaining our health; it restores our body’s energy. Sleep deprivation is not really a syndrome but an effect due to some disturbances, stress, and anxiety that makes our brain to send signal to our body to be awake, an unnecessary awakening that affects our total time of sleep. When our body is stressful or lack of average sleep needed by each individual, our brain do not work properly thus affecting our lifestyle, our ability to think and cope up with problems, and then other diseases may occur if not immediately taken to concern, because stress attacks our brain and knowing that our brain is the control center of our body.

Recommendation: If sleeplessness and the listed signs and symptoms occur, it will be a clever decision if you consult a Doctor immediately prior to health concern. It is also a best way if symposiums will be conducted or seminars that discuss about Sleep deprivation to school and or universities so that students and educators will be aware to the effects of sleep deprivation that one can possibly have due to body exhaustion and abuse.


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  • University/College: University of Arkansas System

  • Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter

  • Date: 31 October 2016

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