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  March 22nd 

Sleep Deprivation 

"The Effects of Sleep Deprivation" 


By: Terrence Gaddis 

Sleep Deprivation is a limiting of sleep below what is considered the base level requirement of an individual. The deprivation can be from one extended period or duration of sleeplessness (acute), or it can come in the form of a sleep debt that has accumulated over a gradual and extended period (chronic). In people, sleep deprivation effects can come in the form of both neurocognitive difficulties as well as physiological maladies.

It is estimated that the financial cost of sleep deprivation in the USA is between $40 and $60 billion.

In well rested individuals, the transition between wakeful and resting states is short and abrupt, where the person is either in a resting or cognitive state. Sleep deprived individuals find that the definitive differences between the sleeping and waking states begin to blur and one often intrudes on the other creating a less than stable waking/sleeping state that is no longer clearly differentiated as are those of well rested individuals.

The effects of sleep deprivation come in both quantitative and qualitative phenomena.


Physiological Impact

Endocrine Secretion - growth hormone levels have been known to decrease with a lack of sleep

Sleep Propensity - as sleep deprivation becomes more severe measurable differences in the amount of time a person needs to fall asleep and how long they can stay awake a sitting position in a darkened room

Immune System Weakness - increased levels of sleep debt has been shown to weaken immunity systems as well as shown that shift changing workers have statistically higher cardiovascular problems

Brain Activity - brain wave monitoring shows altering brain activity between well rested and tired individuals

Cognitive Impact

Attention and Reasoning – constructive reasoning process speed decreases with less sleep and consistent attention decreases


Emotional Behavior - studies have shown that subjective surveys on mood show that negative moods are reported with a much higher frequency under conditions of sleep deprivation

The Cost of Sleep Deprivation

In recent studies of Americans, more than 20% of individuals surveyed received less than 6.5 hours a sleep per night. Regardless of the source of the sleep problem, it is a relatively under treated affliction considering the cost to society. It has been estimated, that almost 20% of all vehicular accidents have a root cause tracing back to sleep deficiency. These costs have been estimated to range from $40 to almost $60 billion. Additionally, sleep debt also has been a key factor in other costly phenomenon such as on the job mistakes, lesser academic performance, relationship issues, and drug use.
Some other data on sleep deprivation:

In 1997, CNN reported that sleep problems are the number one health issue in the USA
Some studies have linked diabetes to sleep deprivation
43% of people surveyed say that tiredness has impacted daytime activities
More than 30% of heavy truck accidents have been blamed on tiredness factors
50% of people surveyed have said they have problems sleeping at something during any given week
50% of people can not get up without the use of an alarm clock
People on average get an amount of sleep equal to 6.9 hrs./week night and 7.5 hrs./week-end night
Two tests on whether or not you are sleep deprived: a) you fall asleep within 5 minutes of putting your head on the pillow; b) you can not get up without the use of an alarm clock
Sleep deprivation is an interrogation technique used my many law enforcement professionals

Source: http://www.Go-to-Sleep.net

Terrence Gaddis has been fascinated with sleep maladies since suffering through a case of insomnia in his youth. From this time forward, he has studied all the causes, treatments and news about this phenomenon.

Go-to-Sleep.net is a website dedicated to the study of sleep. Everything that you could want to to know about how to go to sleep, including: sleep disorders, causes, cures, and studies.

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A Good Sleep              

A good laugh and a long sleep are the best cures in the doctor's book ~Irish Proverb