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Proper Adolescent Development

Understanding sleep deprivation


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Chronic Sleep Deprivation: More Harmful Than You Might Think

Not only can sleep deprivation can cause serious damage to your body over the long-term, but it can cause you to lose your mind too.

You probably have noticed that, when you don’t get enough sleep, your thoughts are not as clear as normal and you feel grumpy. Although you might think that not getting enough sleep is no big deal, in the long run, you actually pay quite a price when you are sleep deprived. Chronic sleep deprivation significantly affects your mental functioning, performance and health.

Why Do We Need to Sleep?

Although sleep is as important to your physical and emotional health as is eating and drinking, researchers still do not quite understand why people need to sleep. In fact, the question of why humans sleep is one of the biggest mysteries in biology. Researchers theorize that the brain may need sleep to store the day’s memories or that sleep regulates the body’s hormones.

How Harmful Is Sleep Deprivation, Really?

Even though the question of why humans sleep is not completely understood, there is no question that sleep deprivation is extremely harmful both physically and mentally. Research shows that losing sleep can cause psychosis, long-term memory problems and can impair cognitive functioning. Other studies have found that sleep deprivation can lead to physical ailments, such as high blood pressure, weight gain and impaired immune system functioning.

What Causes Sleep Deprivation?

There is not one specific cause of sleep deprivation. Actually, many things can cause you to not get enough sleep. You might have too many daily stresses. Health issues, such as sleep apnea, diabetes and heartburn can all cause you to not be able to sleep well. Mental health problems, such as bipolar disorder, depression and anxiety can all interfere with sleep. Taking care of an infant, working in shifts or the need to finish work or school projects may also lead to a lack of shut-eye.

What Can I Do If I Cannot Sleep Well?

The cure for sleep difficulties can often be found in your lifestyle choices and daily routines. Try the following tips to help improve your sleep and leave you feeling emotionally and physically balanced.

Regular Sleep Schedule

One of the most important strategies for improving your sleep is to get on a regular sleep schedule. The reason this is important is because your body has a natural 24-hour clock, called a circadian rhythm. Your circadian rhythm tells your body when to sleep, wake and eat. This clock is linked to the 24-hour cycle of the sun. Typically, your circadian rhythm will cause you to wake in the morning after 8 hours of sleep and feel tired after about 16 hours of being awake. Sometimes, your circadian rhythm can become disrupted, causing your sleep patterns to become abnormal. Therefore, getting back on track with your body’s natural clock is vital for overcoming insomnia. Going to bed at the same time each night and waking up at the same time every morning can help your body’s natural clock become more regular.

Exercise

Regular exercisers tend to spend more time in the deeper, more restorative stages of sleep, according to the latest research. Exercise also helps you feel less sleepy during the day and feel better overall. Just make sure that you exercise at least several hours before bedtime as vigorous exercise can interfere with sleep hormones. It can take months of regular exercise before you notice the full effects on your sleep, so be patient and stick with it.

 

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Importance on sleep

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Lack Of Sleep Has Serious Side Effects

Refrain from sleeping for twenty-four hours. How do you feel? Your eyes are droopy, the world has a strange appearance, you see things out of the corner of your eye. At times there is a strange giddiness that borders on madness; then it’s left by snappy anger. There are many types of fatigue; that which accompanies a deliberate effort to transcend sleep is usually a pleasant kind of weariness, one which knows real sleep is soon on the horizon. But sustaining this pattern of activity can cause brain damage. In fact, sleep is integral to a number of components which pertain to good health, including:

  • Bodily Health
  • Healthy Weight
  • Clearheaded
  • Proper Adolescent Development
  • Muscular Reconstruction
  • Sickness Rehabilitation
  • Cerebral Development

A Natural “High”

Sleep deprivation has effects on the body and mind which bear a striking similarity to alcohol abuse or marijuana ingestion. When you drink too much or get too high, your mental reasoning faculties diminish. You become impaired. A continual pattern of diminished rest leads to mental damage in the same way continuously binge drinking or marijuana smoking does. As a matter of fact, many people in America today combine all three of these conditions, and the ultimate damage is substantial. Unfortunately, sometimes working environments force the lifestyle on individuals without their realizing it.

Consider this scenario: a young man comes from an impoverished family and manages to obtain a G.E.D., but before he can go to college his single mom takes ill, and he becomes responsible for winning the house’s bread. But he’s an honest man and won’t stoop to dealing drugs or anything illegal. Unfortunately, the recessive economy has pushed him into a selection of jobs that don’t pay more than ten dollars an hour. Still, he can get forty hours a week–that’s $1600 a month! But that won’t quite cut it, as there’s a mortgage on the house, and food, and regular maintenance items, and gasoline. He really needs about $3200 a month. Well, that can be done sustainably for a year or so, if the young man just works double-time. And so this is precisely what he does. He works a thirteen hour shift six days a week, which comes to 78 hours weekly, ballooning to 82 depending on how long he has to stay after his shift. He’s been getting four hours of sleep a night for the last six months now, because Working Johnny has taken to the drink as well. It’s all he’s got.

Getting The Proper Rest

Many Americans have stumbled into similar situations. There are solutions, however. One of the best ones is to go through your daily schedule and see what activities can be cut, and replaced with sleep. If none can, and your situation really is so desperate that a half hour nap here or there isn’t possible, then you need to look at transcending your working situation. It may seem like there is only one job available for you right now, but as a matter of fact, there are quite a few in today’s market.

Healthy Brain Development

You may have to sacrifice your sleep for your children, though; their rest is more integral to healthy cerebral development. The brain grows during sleep. REM, or Rapid Eye Movement, represents a kind of “mental download” time wherein the mind processes the events of your day. Part of this explains where dreams come from; though there are other, deeper aspects involved in dreaming. In any event, the mental activity of sleep is ultimately integral to health for anyone; so get your rest!

 

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