Sleep Deprivation

If you snooze, do you really lose?

Introduction

Many people, especially teenagers and college students, do not get enough sleep during the night because of either school work, sports, or other activities. This is a growing problem especially with todays technology. Many teens don't think that its a problem to stay up late and only get 5 hours of sleep a night, but this little thing can turn into major health problems, physically and mentally.

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Causes Accidents

  • Drowsiness can slow your reaction time just as much as drunk driving
  • When you are sleep deprived its equivalent to driving with a blood alcohol content of .08%, which is illegal
  • NHTSA estimates that fatigue is the cause of 100,000 crashes and 1,550 crash-related deaths a year in the U.S.
  • This problem is greatest for people 25 or under, but it can happen at any age

Dumbs You Down

  • Lack of sleep impairs attention, alertness, concentration, reasoning, and problem solving
  • If you do not get enough sleep, you won't be able to remember things that you learned or were told previous days
  • Various sleep cycles play a huge role in consolidating memories, i.e. the more you sleep, the more you will remember
  • Less sleep=less sharp wave ripples, which trigger memory in the brain

Leads to Serious Health Problems

  • Heart disease
  • Heart attack
  • Heart failure
  • Irregular heartbeat-the lower chamber could deteriorate and become life-threatening
  • High blood pressure-leads to many other dangerous health problems
  • Stroke
  • Diabetes
  • Alzheimer's/Dementia
  • Lack of sleep doubles the risk of early death and cardiovascular disease
  • Breaks down immune system
  • Restless Legs Syndrome-also known as Willis-Ekbom Disease is a overwhelming urge to move the legs when they are at rest

The glymphatic system, which is the pathway that rids our central nervous systems of waste, is much more active during sleep. The spaces between cells in the brain increase during sleep; this means that there’s far more room for fluid to slip in among the cells, pick up waste, and float it out toward the liver. Also, the reason why the glymphatic system works much faster during sleep is because it has access to more energy.


The photo on the left shows what a brain looks like when someone has been in a deep sleep, and the right shows someone who has been in a light sleep, and the waste build up that it causes.

Makes You Gain Weight

  • The saying "You Snooze, You Lose.", is actually true
  • A study in 2004 showed that people who sleep 6 or less hours a day were 30% more likely to become obese than those who slept 7-9 hours
  • Lack of sleep means increase in ghrein (which stimulates hunger), and a decrease in leptin (which suppresses appetite)

Insomnia & Depression go Hand & Hand

  • Lack of sleep is a major contributor to depression
  • In a 2005 "Sleep in America" poll, people with anxiety or depression were more likely to sleep 6 or less hours a night
  • Sleep loss triggers symptoms of depression and depression usually causes insomnia
  • A positive is if you take pills for depression, it can also cure insomnia

Other Problems & Facts

  • Ages your skin
  • Leads to lackluster (colorless) skin, fine lines, and dark circles under the eyes
  • When you don't get enough sleep your body releases more stress hormone, cortisol, which breaks down skin collagen
  • Creates more acne
  • Teenagers need about 9 1/4 hours of sleep each night to get a full nights sleep
  • A study found that only 15% of teens reported sleeping 8 1/2 hours on school nights

Solutions

  • Naps can help pick you up and make you work more efficiently
  • Make your room a sleep easier to sleep in, keep it cool, quiet and dark. Let in bright light in the morning to signal your body to wake up.
  • Avoid any caffeine, nicotine, and alcohol prior to bed
  • Establish a bedtime and wake-time and stick to it to keep your sleep cycle more consistent
  • Don’t eat, drink, or exercise within a few hours of your bedtime
  • Try not to watch TV or be on your phone around bedtime