A lot of times we let ourselves stay up late or fall behind, getting way less than the recommended eight hours of sleep. It’s so easy to mess up your sleep schedule. However, it’s very important to the health of our minds and bodies that we get enough rest. Getting enough sleep can help brain function and promote longevity. 

Sleep deprivation unknowingly affects many people. Some effects of sleep deprivation are drowsiness, memory loss, irritability, and trouble learning. “Sleep deficiency can interfere with work, school, driving, and social functioning.” (Nhlbi.nih.gov). Long term effects are more serious as deprivation of sleep long term can cause decline in cognitive function, anxiety, depression, and paranoia that become more serious over time.

As stated by Dr. Itzhak Fried of neurosurgery at UCLA said: “We discovered that starving the body of sleep also robs neurons of the ability to function properly, this paves the way for cognitive lapses in how we perceive and react to the world around us.” (Livescience.com). Loss of sleep causes the brain to function differently than it normally does, which affects many parts of our lives. People who also have trouble getting enough sleep can also have problems controlling their emotions and behaviors as their bra is working overtime to complete tasks without enough rest. 

Another risk of sleep deprivation is car accidents. Drivers who sleep deprived also have a much higher risk of crashing. Scientists have found that if a pedestrian were to step in front of a car, the reaction time of the driver would be too slow to save something terrible from happening. It is very dangerous to drive sleep-deprived as drivers are not alert or as coherent to their surroundings and actions as a well-rested driver. This matter is so serious that scientists have compared it to driving drunk. 

Studies have found that to help encourage a regular sleep pattern you should make a “sleep diary” to track the conditions under which you slept, how you slept, and for how long. Analyzing this information will help you create the optimum environment to sleep in and encourage a full night’s rest. Another thing to help sleep enough is removing bright lights from your bedroom, as well as limiting screen time before bed. This is a true method as the “blue light” emitted from phones disrupts the melatonin production in the brain, which keeps you awake longer and makes it harder to finally fall asleep. 

Although sleep deprivation may seem like an unsuspecting thing to most people, it plagues the lives of many unknowingly. Letting your sleep schedule get messed up can cause long term effects such as high blood pressure, and heart attacks. Although these effects seem somewhat extreme, it can happen to anyone who makes all- nighters, and late nights consistent. 

Sleep is important and helps our minds and bodies. It’s important to get the proper amount of sleep to help our bodies function to the best of their ability. By getting enough sleep, we are allowing our minds and body to reset and face all the challenges of the next day. 

Citations 

Mathewson, Samantha. “Here’s What Happens in the Brain When You Don’t Get Enough Sleep”, November 7, 2017. Livescience.com 

“Sleep Deprivation and Deficiency”, National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. 2018 Research Conference on Sleep and the Health of Women. Nhlbi.nih.gov. 

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December 17, 2020 10:10 am

I found your article “Why Sleep Is Important” very informative. I had some previous knowledge of how sleep deprivation causes drowsiness and lack of performance throughout the day, however, I was unaware of the long term effects. Something that stood out to me was “Long term effects are more serious as deprivation of sleep long term can cause decline in cognitive function, anxiety, depression, and paranoia that become more serious over time.” This isn’t very surprising to me, but I now properly understand that getting rest is extremely important. Thank you for sharing and I look forward to more of your work.
– Wendy

December 11, 2020 4:36 am

Dear Elizabeth,
Your post is very interesting because it discusses an important topic that more people should be aware of. I like how you highlighted the problems that can arise when we do not get enough sleep. One thing you said that stands out to me is: “This matter is so serious that scientists have compared it to driving drunk.” I think this is important because people should know the risks of driving while sleep deprived, and this sentence emphasizes the seriousness of the issue. I also think that most students have experienced not getting enough sleep, so your post is a great reminder of why we should prioritize sleep and find enough time to get a healthy amount of sleep. Thanks for your post, and I look forward to seeing what you write next.

December 10, 2020 2:40 am

Elizabeth,

I really enjoyed reading your blog post about sleep and why it’s so important, especially for the youth today. You offered a lot of useful and interesting insight on the topic, as well as providing researched facts to help back up your statements. I agree that sleep is very important today and that it can affect a multitude of aspects in our lives, as you mentioned. One line that stuck with me was when you wrote, “By getting enough sleep, we are allowing our minds and body to reset and face all the challenges of the next day.” Even getting an extra few hours of sleep than one normally would could help a person immensely in their focus and energy the next day, which really puts into perspective how important sleep is. Like you said, it allows our energy to reset for the day, and helps us function properly. As someone who often finds myself staying up too late, whether that’s due to school work or other extracurricular activities, this has made me realize the importance of sleep. I really enjoyed reading this blog post, and I look forward to reading more of your work in the future!

Youth Voices is an open publishing platform for youth. The site is organized by teachers with support from the National Writing Project. Opinions expressed by writers are their own.All work on Youth Voices is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License

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