People often consider sleep to be expendable. As a society,
we stay up all night to go out and have fun, work, or study. However, a healthy
sleep cycle for adults would be anywhere from 7-9 hours of sleep a night. This
type of unchanging routine is essential for a person of any age. If an
individual does not have that consistent slumber, serious consequences will
follow. Sleep deprivation’s weight includes poor judgment, inability to retain
information, along with increased risk of a number of health problems such as
obesity and diabetes. Sleep loss can also act as an antidepressant.
Research has shown a correlation between sleep deprivation
and poor decision making. According to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine,
when a person is sleep deprived, they may experience difficulty reaching a
morally based decision. They also found individuals are prone to make decisions
they wouldn’t normally make in a fully rested state.
Although the exact process is not known, memory is often
explained in three functions. Acquisition applies to the brain receiving new
information. Consolidation represents the memory becoming a secure part of the
brain. Recall refers to being able to access stored information. An inadequate
amount of sleep can affect all three brain processes. Acquisition and recall
would suffer in a more obvious way, but consolidation is still greatly
affected. Research indicates, memory consolidation only happens during sleep.
Multiple studies have proven poor sleep is associated with
weight gain. While one sleeps, the body produces and discharges hormones that
help control appetite, energy metabolism, and glucose processing. Partial or
complete sleep deprivation can disturb the balance of these and other hormones.
Because of this imbalance, people may crave food even after eating a healthy
Research proves, inadequate sleep may contribute to type 2
diabetes. Type 2 diabetes is a disease that includes excessive glucose in the
blood. Poor sleep affects the bodily function of processing such glucose. This
results in the body having too much of this carbohydrate and leaves people at
risk of developing type 2 diabetes and increases risk of heart disease.
Although sleep deprivation has shown to only have negative
effects, studies suggest, going without sleep may help those who suffer from
clinical depression. Researchers are still clueless as to why loss of adequate slumber
results in a decline of symptoms, but they have proved sleep deprivation to
relieve certain patients. A meta-analysis was conducted and demonstrated, in
the short term, 40-60 percent of patients benefited.
Although scientists have not yet solved the puzzle as to why
we need to sleep, we’ve all come to understand a good night’s rest can go a
long way. Keeping a normal, healthy sleeping schedule can help lead a productive
lifestyle. Sleeping well contributes to an individual’s well-being by helping
maintain vital functions. The most significant function would be to give the
body’s cells and tissues time to recover from the daily grind they endure.
Next time you’re contemplating whether to sleep in or go
out, think about the repercussions. Partial of complete deprivation can, in
some instances, work as an antidepressant, affect our judgment, memory, and, in
some cases, lead to obesity and diabetes.