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Sleep Deprivation

Essay by   •  March 5, 2012  •  Essay  •  393 Words (2 Pages)  •  1,484 Views

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In 1964, a 17 year old high school student by the name of Randy Gardner broke a record for the longest period of time a human being has intentionally gone without sleep. He was awake for exactly 264 hours, that's 11 days and this was done without the use of any kind of stimulants. Randy's record attempt was scientifically monitored with a team of researchers and medical staff. The experiment was conducted in hopes to demonstrate that sleep deprivation has very little effects besides mood changes associated with tiredness. However, sleep deprivation does in fact hold serious health concerns and can very much so effect your day to day activites.

Sleep deprivation is an actual condition of not having enough sleep. Most people need between seven and eight hours of sleep each night. I think its safe to say that a lot of us are already aware of that, however according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, it is estimated that nearly 30% of Americans are still lacking sleep each night. I think it could possibly be even higher than that.

Confusion and lack of concentration are very common features to this disorder. This can lead to unfortunate results, from forgetting to do certain errands to missing a sentence while taking notes. In Randy's case, he was asked to subtract repeatedly starting with 100, he stopped at 65 and couldn't remember what he was doing. Driving while drowsy can increase chances of getting into a car accident. According to CNN, researchers have found that extreme sleep deprivation is equivalent to a blood alcohol content of 0.1, that's above the illegal limit in most states here in the United States.

Other effects that are caused by sleep deprivation include but are not limited to: aching muscles, fatigue, depression, hallucinations, obesity, handtremors, headaches, bloodshot eyes, increased blood pressure, increased stress hormone levels, increased risk of diabetes... the list can go on and on.

There are several practices, habits and environmental factors that can contribute to better sleep. For instance, one should refrain from taking multiple naps throughout the day. Instead set a consistent and regular bedtime schedule with at least 7 hours. It is also advised to try relaxation techniques such as deep breathing or meditation before going to bed. If sleep deprivation is ultimately taking over your life, its time to contact a physician.



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