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Why don’t kids, teenagers, & adults get enough sleep ? And what happens to our bodies when we don’t fulfill enough sleep? 

Sleep Deprivation

Sleep deprivation is a disorder where an individual does not get the required amount sleep; it could be chronic or critical. A persistent sleep-constrained state could lead to exhaustion, sleeping in the day, ineptness and weight fluctuation. It negatively impacts cognitive function and the brain. Sleep deprivation happens when a person sleeps less than they required staying awake and attentive. People differ in terms of what amount of lack sleep to be seen as sleep-deprived. Some individuals like the aging appear to be affected by sleep deprivation, while others, notably kids and teens, are more susceptible. Sleep deprivation is one of the most underestimated health crisis in the world. A large percentage of the world’s population rarely get the recommended seven to eight hours of sleep they should have daily. Most people do not see the importance of sleep or know that lack of sleep has adverse effects on them. Lack of sleep affects everyone across the board .People of all ages and even of all genders around the world are affected by lack of sleep or know someone who is sleep deprived. Sleep deprivation in itself could be a symptom of an underlying disorder thus one should see a physician if it persists. Individuals of different age groups require different durations of sleep with young children needing more extended hours of sleep (Yezreel).

There are various signs and symptoms that an individual can have that point to them being sleep deprived. Some of these include; first, one will always feel hungry. It happens so because if the body cannot get what it needs from you sleeping, it gets it's it from the next best thing which is food thus you will feel hungrier to fill the body’s needs (Jung et al., 240). Next, is an individual will have cases of increased daytime sleeping indicating they are not getting enough sleep at the allocated time. Also, the individual will yawn more than usual and will experience fatigue all the time. Another symptom is that the person in question will start being moody and irritable all the time. They will also experience forgetfulness, inability to concentrate on tasks and also become less motivated to do these tasks. Finally, they will be depressed all the time. This essay will look at the causes of sleep deprivation in children, teens, and adults and it will also look at the effects of lack of enough sleep on our bodies (Petrovsky et al.).

Various reasons can cause sleep deprivation. These reasons include; first, some people may intentionally deprive themselves of sleep as they see it interfering with their activities. They may view sleep as a waste of time which they could have used to do activities that were profitable to them such as entertainments, money making activities and their educational goals (Lund et al., 128). Next, some people deprive themselves of sleep because of responsibilities like work shifts, family obligations and demanding jobs. These responsibilities may require an individual to commit a lot of their time to fulfill them. Therefore so that they can achieve them in time, they will sacrifice their sleep. Another cause is that at times people do not know that lack of sleep has adverse effects on their health and hence choose to do things like watching movies and reading novels to keep themselves entertained (Vohs et al., 170)

Signs and Symptoms of Sleep Deprivation

Another cause of lack of sleep is that some individuals have poor sleep hygiene in that they engage in activities that are not conducive for one to sleep. They can have habits such as smoking cigarettes and drinking coffee close to their sleep time. These activities will stimulate the nervous system, and thus it makes the possibility of sleep less likely. Another issue that can cause someone to be sleep deprived is anxiety. When an individual is anxious and depressed, they tend to think a lot about their problems, and when they get to bed instead of sleeping, they will think about their issues. Next, parents and guardians who have young children will suffer from lack of sleep. These children have different sleeping patterns and needs, and thus their parents will not get enough sleep so that they can cater to the needs of their children (Pilkington, 35).

Some individuals may suffer from lack of sleep due to the effects of short-term illnesses. Conditions like the flu and the common cold cause people to have difficulty while breathing because they cause blockages in their airways. Therefore, these individuals will wake up at different times while sleeping to clear their airways thus fragmenting or depriving them of sleep. Another cause of lack of sleep is due to the effects of some medications. Some medicines which treat conditions such as epilepsy and attention deficit hyperactive disorder could cause insomnia in their patients (Basner et al., 860). Next, individuals might have some sleeping disorders which disrupt their sleeping patterns. Conditions like sleep apnea, which is when a person’s breathing is interrupted when they are sleeping, and snoring can disturb an individual’s sleep many times at night. Thus, this leads to the individual not sleeping well or even developing a fear of sleep as they may stop breathing while they sleep (Marzano et al., 265).

Another cause of lack of sleep is the sleeping environment which the individual has. Where a person sleeps, and it's environment matters when it comes to whether the person will sleep for an extended period or not. Thus when the room is too hot or too cold, too noisy or has too much light, it becomes an unconducive environment to sleep in. Hence, this will cause sleep deprivation. Insomnia is another cause of sleep deprivation. Insomnia is a condition where one has difficulty in sleeping at night, and it affects a huge chunk of the adult population. Thus, if one suffers from insomnia, they will be sleep deprived. People with bad diets are likely to suffer from sleep deprivation. When they have the poor diets, it causes a fluctuation in their blood sugar thus leading to lack of sleep because they have too much energy. Also if someone eats too close to their bedtime or does not eat enough, it will lead to sleep deprivation due to indigestion or hunger hence the individual will not be able to sleep (AlDabal, Laila, and BaHammam, 831).

Causes of Sleep Deprivation

Sleep deprivation has various effects on people, and they vary from being minor to severe. Some of these effects include; first, it increases the risk of an individual suffering from chronic diseases like hypertension, diabetes, cancer, and depression. Sleep deprivations increase the chances of these diseases developing into more severe stages as our bodies require sufficient sleep so that it can heal and regenerate. Hence if an individual does not get enough sleep, they are prone to getting these diseases (Killgore, 110). Another impact is that it can lead to school going children lacking concentration while in school due to the body trying to recover the sleep they missed at night during school hours. Thus, it will lead to them performing poorly in their studies because they cannot concentrate on what is being taught in school. Also, at the same time when children are sleep deprived, it will take away from the energy they should be putting in their extra-curricular activities such as sport and thus the child won’t be as active as they should be. Next, according to the Centre for Disease Control (CDC) lack of sufficient sleep has been linked to increased risk of motor vehicle accidents and other occupational errors. Thus because the individual does not get enough sleep they do not concentrate on tasks at hand which will increase the risk of them causing accidents (Pizza et al., 41)

Individuals who do not get enough sleep run the risk of gaining weight. It happens that when one is sleep deprived, they will suffer from fatigue, and thus they will not have the energy to be active and become lazy. If one is not active, they will most likely gain weight as they cannot shed the weight. Also, because the body is fatigued all the time the individual will have a lot of food cravings so that they can get the energy they require. As sleep is a way the body conserves and builds up energy lack of it makes the body look for ways to get energy, and thus this leads to eating to get it. Hence, this will lead to constant hunger and overeating (Brondel et al., 1560).

In teenagers, when they are severely sleep deprived, they are more prone to lacking impulse control. This will lead to them engaging in risky activities as a result. Also, they are at more risk of developing disorders like ADHD due to this, and if they continue being sleep deprived, even with medication, these disorders will not be remedied (Talbot et al., 831). Next, lack of enough sleep leads to one being irritable, having poor moods and increasingly emotional. They are also at more risk of developing depression. People who are sleep deprived most of the time feel that they are cranky, angry and overwhelmed. When an individual is sleep deprived, they become less motivated to take part in regular activities. Thus, they do not have the motivation to take part in social activities they would usually with their friends and family. It will lead to them being isolated and depressed as they cannot meet up with them anymore (Orze?-Gryglewska).

Effects of Sleep Deprivation

Lack of enough sleep affects our bodies in various ways; these effects are the long-term impacts. They include; first, your brain will start to feel fuzzy quickly. Our bodies require enough sleep so that our memories can be consolidated and also commit what we learn to mind. Thus, when the body does not get enough sleep, this activity gets impaired. It will lead to the brain being fuzzy when an individual does not sleep for twenty-four hours it is equal to one being legally drunk (Gujar et al., 4470).

Next, it leads to the skin not looking as good and also having bags under their eyes. There is a direct relationship between lack of enough sleep and aging skin. Specific skin disorders such as psoriasis can be made worse by lack of sleep. Another impact is that it will lead to the body’s metabolism slowing down. When it does this, it causes the body to build up insulin resistance. It is where the body stores the food you eat instead of processing it as it should usually be done. It also runs the risk of putting an individual in a pre-diabetic state which increases the risk of developing diabetes (Donga, 2970).

Lack of enough sleep also affects the endocrine system in the body. The endocrine system is a collection of glands which produces hormones in the body which are utilized for various functions like growth and development, reproduction, sexual function and tissue function. A body requires a minimum of three hours of uninterrupted sleep for testosterone production hence lack of enough sleep will prevent this. Also, lack of enough sleep will affect the growth and development of a body especially development of muscle mass and the repair of body cells (Orze?-Gryglewska). Another way lack of enough sleep affects our bodies is that it can lead to reduced libido. When an individual is sleep deprived their sex drive will be reduced as they will have less interest in having sex. Also, as those men who are sleep deprived have lower amounts of testosterone, it leads to them having a lower libido. In both women and men lack of enough sleep has been linked to lowered fertility. Sleep deprivation affects the endocrine system which in turn affects the production of reproductive hormones. Therefore, this will cause people to have trouble while conceiving (Havekes et al.).

Another effect to the body is that lack of enough sleep is not good for the heart. Sleep is essential as it is time for the body to reset. During sleep, the body’s blood pressure drops and the heart slows down so that it can regenerate and get ready for the next day. When the body does not get enough sleep, the heart does not get enough time to repair itself. Thus it affects the health of your heart and also leads to the blood pressure skyrocketing. Another effect is that sleep deprivation can lead to an individual developing mental health issues. Lack of enough sleep contributes to individuals developing problems like having hallucinations and memory loss which happens because the brain has not rested enough (Lim, Julian, and David F. Dinges, 375). Finally, it leads to the body’s immune system being compromised. Individuals who do not get enough sleep tend to have decreased the ability to fight off common infections like the common cold and also simple viruses could make the body develop severe conditions like pneumonia. It also makes individuals prone to diseases like migraines. Lack of enough sleep also can increase the risk of death. When the body does get the recommended amount of res, it will increase the risk of an individual dying from any causes (Havekes et al.).

School Going Children and Sleep Deprivation

In conclusion, getting enough sleep is essential to our bodies. Everyone should get the recommended amount of sleep for their age groups. If individuals do not understand this, they will suffer from the various effects named above. Also once you find out the cause of your sleep deprivation, you should strive to avoid these things for the good of your health. Also, individuals should be informed of the risks of sleep deprivation so that they can prevent it and also remedy the situation. Sleep deprivation is a serious condition which should be dealt with as it can have adverse effects on the body in the long term.

AlDabal, Laila, and Ahmed S. BaHammam. "Metabolic, endocrine, and immune consequences of sleep deprivation." The open respiratory medicine journal 5 (2011): 31.

Basner, Mathias, et al. "Sleep deprivation and neurobehavioral dynamics." Current opinion in neurobiology 23.5 (2013): 854-863.

Brondel, Laurent, et al. "Acute partial sleep deprivation increases food intake in healthy men–." The American journal of clinical nutrition 91.6 (2010): 1550-1559.

Donga, Esther, et al. "A single night of partial sleep deprivation induces insulin resistance in multiple metabolic pathways in healthy subjects." The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism 95.6 (2010): 2963-2968.

Gujar, Ninad, et al. "Sleep deprivation amplifies reactivity of brain reward networks, biasing the appraisal of positive emotional experiences." Journal of Neuroscience 31.12 (2011): 4466-4474.

Havekes, Robbert, et al. "Sleep deprivation causes memory deficits by negatively impacting neuronal connectivity in hippocampal area CA1." Elife 5 (2016).

Jung, Christopher M., et al. "Energy expenditure during sleep, sleep deprivation and sleep following sleep deprivation in adult humans." The Journal of physiology 589.1 (2011): 235-244.

Killgore, William DS. "Effects of sleep deprivation on cognition." Progress in brain research. Vol. 185. Elsevier, 2010. 105-129.

Lim, Julian, and David F. Dinges. "A meta-analysis of the impact of short-term sleep deprivation on cognitive variables." Psychological bulletin 136.3 (2010): 375.

Lund, Hannah G., et al. "Sleep patterns and predictors of disturbed sleep in a large population of college students." Journal of adolescent health 46.2 (2010): 124-132.

Marzano, Cristina, et al. "The effects of sleep deprivation in humans: topographical electroencephalogram changes in non?rapid eye movement (NREM) sleep versus REM sleep." Journal of sleep research 19.2 (2010): 260-268.

Orze?-Gryglewska, Jolanta. "Consequences of sleep deprivation." International journal of occupational medicine and environmental health (2010).

Petrovsky, Nadine, et al. "Sleep deprivation disrupts prepulse inhibition and induces psychosis-like symptoms in healthy humans." Journal of Neuroscience 34.27 (2014).

Pilkington, Stephanie. "Causes and consequences of sleep deprivation in hospitalised patients." Nursing Standard (through 2013) 27.49 (2013): 35.

Pizza, Fabio, et al. "Sleep quality and motor vehicle crashes in adolescents." Journal of clinical sleep medicine: JCSM: official publication of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine 6.1 (2010): 41.

Talbot, Lisa S., et al. "Sleep deprivation in adolescents and adults: changes in affect." Emotion 10.6 (2010): 831.

Vohs, Kathleen D., et al. "Ego depletion is not just fatigue: evidence from a total sleep deprivation experiment." Social Psychological and Personality Science 2.2 (2011): 166-173.

Yezreel, Israel. "Sleep Deprivation 1 191." (2014).

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