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ENG102 Essay: How Sleep deprivation can affect your health


Carmen Ramirez 1 / -  
Nov 8, 2015   #1
Please provide feedback on weaknesses or how the essay could be stronger:
1. Personal experiences
2. Different cause and effect for sleep deprivation
3. Text citations

How Sleep deprivation can affect your health.

Sleep Deprivation can be harmful to your health both physically and emotionally.
It can have major impacts on your health and can directly affect relationships. The impacts on adolescence and sleep deprivation can be both devastating to the individual and their family. When you deprive yourself of the sleep needed this can result in harmful effects to your health.

What is Sleep deprivation? It is a condition when you do not get the necessary amount of sleep to function properly. This can be severe or can cause a behavioral issue, sometimes we do not realize we are not getting enough sleep. Most people need about 7-8 hours of sleep to be well rested. We function every day in our busy lives and sometimes don't even realize what we are doing to our bodies. This can lead to serious problems if it is not addressed.

Sleep deprivation can be caused by staying up late to do homework assignments or working late hours. Stress causes people not to fall asleep easily, they stay up worrying about what they have to do the next day. Others may drink caffeinated drinks late at night and this causes them to stay up later then they wanted to. Another scenario is when someone thinks if they have a drink at night (nightcap) they will sleep better. People tend to have a late night meal that can cause them to stay up either because they are full or have consumed too many late night calories; this can make them experience a boost of energy preventing them from sleeping.

When you do not get the proper amount of sleep you can become irritable, you demonstrate memory loss, and experience fatigue. This is something I have become familiar with when I changed my shift at work. As I worked the opening shift and needed to wake up at 3am for my hour commute to make it to work by 5am. I slowly noticed that it took me longer to get ready and I began to drag in the mornings and throughout the day. It became harder for me to focus and to wake up in the mornings. It felt as though I was constantly in a mental fog. This has affected my short term memory throughout the day at work and has started to impact me the way I interact with my colleagues. I have become very short and quickly angered; this is something that truly out of character for me, especially at work. This also carried over to my personal relationships with family. I noticed I became easily angered with my children when I come home after work and see that they have not started homework or picked up after themselves. One of my colleagues said that I looked tired at that point I realized I needed to get more sleep. I started paying attention to my sleep patterns I was getting 5-6 hours of sleep a day. Once I started doing some research I was able to see how these side effects were directly affecting me.

Dr. Lawrence J Epstein stated in a 2005 Survey completed by the National Sleep Foundation that seven percent of Adults had at least one symptom of either waking up multiple times during the night or snoring. The study showed fifty four percent of adults experienced insomnia. An average of thirty to forty percent of the population suffered from insomnia, and ten percent have a chronic problem. This does not only affect the individual but can also affect the individuals spouse as well. When this happens the couple can become angered and short tempered with each other. The number of people diagnosed with a sleep disorder has increased in the past few years and will continue to rise in the future as more individuals become aware that they have a problem.

Dr. Lawrence J Epstein the author of the newly released book "The Harvard Medical School Guide to a Good Night's Sleep" explains in his article how an unhealthy lifestyle can lead to over eating, weight gain, migraines, depression, irritability and memory problems. All of these are unhealthy to your body and physical being. Epson explains that these problems can also affect family members. People need to understand these medical issues can be treated by "Changing your Life". This is the hardest thing to get people to do. People are entrapped in their everyday routine and they forget about their well-being, like drinking enough water throughout the day, good sleep is a necessary part of staying healthy. One way that you can boost serotonin in the brain is by turning off the TV and exercising. Enhanced serotonin helps your body function in a more productive way, leading to a healthier lifestyle. You need to make these personal changes a priority to get the benefits of a good night's sleep.

Sleep deprivation can also be a result of elevated stress, and some scientists believe that elevated cortisone levels can cause diabetes and other serious health problems. Dr. Bernadine Levine is a co- director of the sleep disorder Center at the Regional Medical Center in Phoenix. In this research center they use a lab to test people for "sleep apnea". This is a disorder in which people wake from their sleep because they stop breathing. When you stop breathing, it can be hazardous to your health. Without oxygen the blood cannot flow through the brain as needed and can possibly cause hypertension, stroke, diabetes, sleep apnea, or heart disease. Restless leg syndrome and narcolepsy are also consequences of being sleep deprived.

There are many reasons why sleep is so important. Sleep apnea can be caused by not getting enough oxygen to the brain. Some of the symptoms are headaches that cannot be cured easily, grumpiness, daytime drowsiness and poor concentration. Narcolepsy is a disease when an individual falls asleep anywhere. According to the (NSF) Narcolepsy is a neurological disorder caused by the brain's inability to regulate sleep-wake cycles normally. The main features of narcolepsy are fatigue and cataplexy.

Scientific studies show that lack of sleep can be compared to the impairment of drinking alcohol. This can affect our attitudes, concentration, memory and immunity. Substances may also affect our sleep such as medications, herbal products, and stimulants like caffeine and Alcohol. The Article "How much sleep do we need" from the Arizona Republic stated that Alcohol is a well-known contributor to poor sleep. You may initially fall asleep after drinking but it is not efficient. The best sleep is in a cool dark environment, without alcohol or caffeine. This article was very informative because it incorporates small changes that could be made. You can cut the alcohol consumption out at night and steer away from caffeine late in the day.

The Link between Cell Damage and sleep deprivation is elaborated in this article by Carol Everson PHD. Her studies shed light to sleep abnormalities as risk factors for diseases such as cardiovascular disease and cancer. Everson explains how it may also cause damage to the liver, lungs and small intestine. "Recovery sleep", following deprivation heals the damage. Recovery sleep is found to restore, balance and repair cells and is a large factor on how deprivation can lead to negative biological results. Everson explains when you don't get the required sleep you don't allow your body to recover and this can bring down your immunity.

Your body needs the appropriate amount of sleep to recover from your day to day routine. If you do strenuous work this is absolutely necessary for your body to recover.

Sleep deprivation has many negative consequences. By making sleep a priority and paying attention to your sleep patterns you can ultimately change it and get better sleep. Knowing that this is a widespread problem and you can get help is just the first step. By changing your daily habits and choosing to make better choices you can find sleep once again.

mnh78614 2 / 4 1  
Nov 8, 2015   #2
This is a really good essay, however I think that you should put some more juice in your intro. Start off with a statistic about sleep deprivation or some kind of anecdote. Other than that your essay seems pretty solid!


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