Health Essay Example: Causes and Effects of Sleep Deprivation

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Wesleyan University
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The human body is structured in such a way that it needs sleep just like any other human needs to adequately perform its functions. Lack of sleep has detrimental impacts on the functioning of the body organs. Rest allows the body to restore the chemical balance that is needed for it to perform. Therefore, during sleep, the body heals through making necessary connections that help in memory retention. A study carried out among the American population revealed that lack of sleep heightens the risk of premature death by approximately 13% (Pilkington & Stephanie 37). This paper will focus on highlighting the causes and effects of sleep deprivation.

Lack of sleep reduces a persons creativity, concentration, and problem-solving skills. This is because the central nervous system fails to restore when one fails to sleep. Sleep helps the nervous system to relay necessary information to various body organs for the proper functioning of the body (Bianchi & Matt 55). Therefore, lack of sleep interferes with how the system works. Sleep allows the nervous system to form information pathways between neurons in the brain which helps to comprehend relevant information. Lack of sleep leaves the body fatigued to the point that it fails to execute its responsibilities. This also affects one`s ability to grasp new information since the signals usually delay which tampers with coordination between body organs leading to vulnerability to road accidents (Sadeghniiat-Haghighi et al. 253). This can also happen when one experiences micro sleep during the day. Microsleep makes the person sleep without realizing thereby increasing the chances of road accidents.

Lack of sufficient sleep increases the chances of blood pressure. This is because during sleep the body fastens the processes which keep the blood vessels and heart replenished and healthy. Resting makes the body check on blood pressure, inflammation, and blood sugar levels which are very important in keeping the body healthy. On the other hand, having enough sleep ensures that the body retains the ability to repair and heal the heart and blood organs. Therefore, when one fails to have enough sleep, there are increased chances of succumbing to cardiovascular diseases which may eventually lead to stroke, heart attack or premature death.

Lack of sleep also increases the risk for succumbing to type 2 diabetes. This is because lack of sleep disrupts the processing of insulin which is vital for lowering the blood sugar level by the body. Therefore, lack of sleep increases the blood sugar level which is a contributing factor for diabetes. Alternatively, lack of sleep makes the body increase the production of insulin after a meal. Increased levels of insulin increase the storage of fat which predisposes the body to type 2 diabetes.

Moreover, seep inadequacy leads to weight gain. This is because sleep lack of sleep disrupts the chemical balance which sends signals to the brain when the one feels hungry or full (Canuto et al. 88). Therefore, there are high chances that one continues eating even when they are full. Lack of sleep combined with lack of exercise leads to increased chances of obesity and overweight. Sleep leverages on ghrelin and leptin hormones which are significant in controlling hunger levels in the individual. Specifically, leptin informs the mind that the stomach is full. Therefore, lack of sleep prompts the body to impede the production of leptin but instead increases the production of ghrelin hormones thereby increasing appetite. On the other hand, sleep deprivation makes the body feel tired of exercising thus leading to weight gain.

Furthermore, lack of sleep is associated with mind flights, being drowsy in the daytime which. This is because sleep deprivation denies the mind a chance to restore and relax. Therefore, mind flights and drowsiness affects performances and productivity. For instance, sleep deprivation can result in lower performances among students. Nonetheless, lack of sleep effects emotional and mental capabilities in an individual and as a result can lead to mood swings. Mood swings impair creativity and decision-making skills. This is vital component for any successful student.

Use of sleep medication as a result of craving to stay awake leads to drug abuse. This is because if one wants to stay awake to fulfill certain perquisites if they are students, there are chances that the person will continue using the drugs without a proper prescription (Pilkington & Stephanie 37). Furthermore, advanced uses of the drug will make the body adapt and therefore need detoxing which medically expensive in that it develops medical problems.

Finally, sleep inadequacy results to reduced memory capacity and focusing abilities. This is because little sleep makes the cerebrum works twice as hard to overcome the need to sleep and therefore shifts one attention (Landrigan 86). Therefore, the chances of forgetting things and lacking focus are very high. With less sleep, the cerebrum is very inflexible which impairs critical thinking skills thereby leading to low output among employees in a firm.

In conclusion, lack of sleep is like a vicious cycle whereby one problem leads to yet another effect. Therefore, in as much there are targets to be met in the execution of one`s duties, the causes and consequences of lack of sleep must be factored in. This makes the person make an informed decision on whether to forego the physical and mental health for the purpose individual targets.


Works Cited

Bianchi, Matt T. "Sleep Deprivation and Neurological Diseases." Sleep Deprivation and Disease, 2013, pp. 47-63.

Canuto, R., et al. "Sleep Deprivation and Obesity in Shift Workers in Southern Brazil." Sleep Medicine, vol. 14, 2013, p. e88.

Landrigan, C.P. "Effect of Lack of Sleep on Medical Errors." Sleep, Health, and Society, 2010, pp. 382-396.

Pilkington, Stephanie. "Causes and Consequences of Sleep Deprivation In Hospitalised Patients." Nursing Standard, vol. 27, no. 49, 2013, pp. 35-42. RCN Publishing Ltd., doi:10.7748/ns2013.

Sadeghniiat-Haghighi, K., et al. "Sleepiness, Fatigue and Road Traffic Accidents." Sleep Medicine, vol. 14, 2013, p. E253.


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