Sleep is a process that all humans need for basic survival. However, for some people it is not considered a priority, and these people can suffer from many health effects due to lack of sleep. With that being said, sleep deprived adolescent's experience the most severe health effects because of their growth and changing bodies. An expert in sleep and psychology, Mary Carskadon, preaches that teenagers need at least 9.2 hours of sleep a night, (Teenagers in High School 1). While this may seem impossible, she recommends this because the body needs time for rest and relaxation from the long day that lies ahead. When the amount of sleep is jeopardized, it can cause many effects to an adolescent's physical health, psychological health, and performance tendencies.
If adolescents receive lackluster sleep on a consistent basis, physical effects such as: obesity, problems with growth and development, and other serious illness can occur. While sleep deprivation may not directly cause serious illnesses, it can be a stepping stone to future problems. There have been studies conducted that correlate the lack of sleep to serious illnesses such as cancer and heart issues. In order to decrease the likelihood of such problems from occurring due to sleep deprivation, it is important that all humans, especially adolescents, start to learn and realize how important sleep is to a healthy body.
In addition to the physical effects, sleep deprivation can also cause some psychological effects. Because the brain needs time to reset, sleep gives the body time for this, but also to “… prevent the storage of unnecessary information” (Acosta-Peña, Rodríguez-Alba, and García-García 250). By eliminating the use of unnecessary information, the brain can be ready for the day that lies ahead. Unfortunately, if sleep is not obtained, the brain can have trouble storing information in the future. With that being said, it is important that humans realize that sleep does not only affect the body physically, but it can also cause some impairments in the brain.
The most noticeable effects of sleep deprivation are arguably the changes in mood and performance. For example, there has been a study conducted about drowsy teenage drivers. A statistic shows that, “About 100,000 reported car crashes each year are attributed to drowsy drivers,” (Wysong 1). While drowsiness can not be proved as the primary cause for these accidents, studies like this show that sleep definitely has some effect when applicants are on the road. In addition, sleep deprivation has shown a decrease in motivation, sometimes causing students grades to drop. Again, sleep deprivation may not be the central blame for these effects; however, it has been proven that insufficient sleep may help prevent some of these instances from occurring.
Sleep deprivation is a serious, underrated problem. The effects of sleep deprivation, some being physical, psychological, and performance help prove that sleep is needed for daily function. While humans are busy in their daily lives, it is also important to receive sufficient sleep in order to keep your body healthy and working properly, especiallyolescents.
Eva Acosta-Penƒƒa, Juan Carlos Rodriguez-Alba and Fabio Garcia-Garcia (2012). Brain Restoration: A Function of Sleep, Brain Damage – Bridging Between Basic Research and Clinics, Dr. Alina Gonzalez-Quevedo (Ed.), ISBN: 978-953-51-0375-2, InTech.
“Teenagers in High School Need Proper Amount of Sleep to Excel in School, Study Reveals.” Jet 10 Feb. 1997: 62. Student Resources in Context. Web. 23 Sept. 2014.
Wysong, Pippa. “School Daze: Turn Your ZZZ's Into A's.” Current Health 2, A Weekly Reader Publication Sept. 2007: 18+. Student Resources in Context. Web. 22 Sept. 2014.