Sleep Deprivation – Alyssa

I chose this issue because it is important for young adults to be aware of how important sleep is to your body and how this issue can affect all aspects of wellness, from your social skills to your mental health. It affects you because it can cause problems at school, your behavior and your relationships with friends and family. I can connect to this issue because whenever I don’t get more than 5 hours of sleep a night, I’ll start losing my focus in class and miss out on what the teacher is teaching. I also tend to be moodier and have less patience when I’m around people, which also causes stress and makes me unproductive throughout the day. This matter affects teenagers because it impairs their attention, alertness, problem solving skills and reasoning overtime. It also causes you to forget whatever you learned or experienced that day. The lack of sleep also makes you forgetful. Brain events called sharp wave ripples make our memory stronger, and occurs mostly during the deepest levels of sleep. Without sleep, there would be limited time for the wave ripples to improve our memory.

Sleep deprivation also affects teenagers because it changes their appearance. The lack of sleep gives people sallow (unhealthy yellow, pale brown) skin, puffy eyes and dark circles under eyes. The lack of sleep also releases too much of the stress hormone ‘cortisol’, which breaks down the collagen in your skin and makes it wrinkly. Collagen is an important protein in your body that holds it together. The absence of rest also causes your body to release too little growth hormones, which usually get released during sleep- which causes delays in growth, the increase of muscle mass, and the strengthening of bones.

I learnt that sleep deprivation has very serious consequences and it is important to know about this topic so we can avoid various diseases and problems in education and relationships with others. Some solutions we can use to increase the amount of sleep we get is doing schoolwork as soon as you get back home- that way, you won’t procrastinate and start your mound of homework instead of sleeping. Taking advantage of the extra sleeping time on the weekends is also a good way to increase the amount of sleep you get, and staying away from electronics and caffeine could also help you sleep better. Starting an improved sleep schedule will help you get used to sleeping more every day.

This influences my thinking in wellness because now I know that even though the lack of sleep may look like it only affects your appearance, it affects you mentally and physically too.

This image shows the effect of sleep deprivation on the face. As seen on the picture on the right, the girl looks slightly happier when she has a sufficient amount of sleep every night than when she has less than 3 hours of sleep every night, and also looks more awake with a brighter face.

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